Supercapacitators revolutionizing battery technology!

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Michael Russo

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garsh

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Comparing supercapacitors to chemical batteries.
Pros:
  • No chemical reactions to cause heat and fire.
  • No expensive compounds required for production
  • Can charge really, really fast
  • Can discharge really, really fast.
Cons:
  • They don't have nearly the capacity of chemical batteries.
  • The voltages tend to be much lower too.
  • If you try too hard to "pack it in", there's a risk of a short.
    • Remember how they can discharge really, really fast?
    • Yeah, whatever ends up puncturing a supercapacitor is going to turn to liquid or spontaneously combust.
I doubt that these will ever replace batteries in cars. There's talk of including a supercapacitor as a small addition to the battery, to help with acceleration. But Tesla's current battery technology appears to be adequate for propelling cars with ludicrous acceleration without such a thing being necessary.
 
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Michael Russo

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Comparing supercapacitors to chemical batteries.
Pros:
  • No chemical reactions to cause heat and fire.
  • No expensive compounds required for production
  • Can charge really, really fast
  • Can discharge really, really fast.
Cons:
  • They don't have nearly the capacity of chemical batteries.
  • They voltages tend to be much lower too.
  • If you try too hard to "pack it in", there's a risk of a short.
    • Remember how they can discharge really, really fast?
    • Yeah, whatever ends up puncturing a supercapacitor is going to turn to liquid or spontaneously combust.
I doubt that these will ever replace batteries in cars. There's talk of including a supercapacitor as a small addition to the battery, to help with acceleration. But Tesla's current battery technology appears to be adequate for propelling cars with ludicrous acceleration without such a thing being necessary.
Thanks @garsh , you once again demonstrate that your depth of knowledge in this field is way ahead of mine.
Agree without any doubt the current T≡SLA battery technology has proven to be capable of stunning acceleration. Was more intrigued by the assertion that supercapacitators would permit much faster recharging, which then would address the (somewhat) limited range concern some folks still have... yet now you bring up the super fast discharge... which the article did not address... Could you think of a 'combo' that could be the best of both worlds? Sorry if it is a dumb question... :)
Am still in fast learning mode... ;)
 

garsh

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Did you know that the Nissan Leaf has a supercapacitor? It's true!

Let's put things in perspective. Let's take a Model S and replace its battery pack with a similarly-sized supercapacitor. Now instead of waiting at a supercharger for 20 minutes to get an 80% charge, you can recharge it from empty to 100% in about 2 seconds! Awesome! The downside, however, is that instead of a 300-mile range, you'd end up with a 15-mile range.

Here's a decent overview article comparing batteries & capacitors.
What’s the Difference Between Batteries and Capacitors?
 

Michael Russo

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Did you know that the Nissan Leaf has a supercapacitor? It's true!

Let's put things in perspective. Let's take a Model S and replace its battery pack with a similarly-sized supercapacitor. Now instead of waiting at a supercharger for 20 minutes to get an 80% charge, you can recharge it from empty to 100% in about 2 seconds! Awesome! The downside, however, is that instead of a 300-mile range, you'd end up with a 15-mile range.

Here's a decent overview article comparing batteries & capacitors.
What’s the Difference Between Batteries and Capacitors?
OMG!! 15 miles... :eek: that would not work for the 650 miles back to the kids in Belgium @ Christmas..! :D
No, I did not know about the Leaf... Trust that at least partly explains the limited range?.. Also very useful article... noted the big cost drawback of the capacitor too...
Guess that pretty much does it for that option to have a winning chance in EVs then?!
Thanks for the reality check! :)
 

garsh

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No, I did not know about the Leaf... Trust that at least partly explains the limited range?
No, sorry, I was expecting you to click the link & read to understand the joke.

The Leaf's supercapacitor supplies power to the friction brakes in the event of a complete electrical failure in the car. This is to make sure you can still stop the vehicle if everything else dies.
 

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The article reads like a series of sound bites. It sounds like the author is prone to hyperbole at the expense of facts.
Supercapacitors have been around since the 80s, if they are so useful, they would be used everywhere.
 
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garsh

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Supercapacitors have been around since the 80s, if they are so useful, they would be used everywhere.
They are useful, and they are everywhere (see the above Leaf link). They just don't have the energy density to replace batteries. It's good that there are people still doing research into the technology.
 

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They are useful, and they are everywhere (see the above Leaf link). They just don't have the energy density to replace batteries. It's good that there are people still doing research into the technology.

I know. This was just garsh bait.
 

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They are useful, and they are everywhere (see the above Leaf link). They just don't have the energy density to replace batteries. It's good that there are people still doing research into the technology.
IIRC, the Blackvue camera uses a supercapacitor. For it's application, seems like a reasonable use.
and Clemson University is working on a Flux Capacitor ;)
 

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As a side interest I also follow the Welsh startup who are developing a car based on a combination of fuel cell (yes, yes...) and super capacitors. The Rasa by Riversimple. Just 1.5 litre of pressurised hydrogen needed for 300 km...
They also use a completely different sale model ... they don't sell the car, they sell miles...
Www.riversimple.com
 
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Capacitors would have a great use in regenerative braking, given the pros and cons. I expect that will happen sometime soon.

Thank you kindly.
 
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Topher

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Just 1.5 litre of liquid hydrogen

Do they REALLY mean liquid hydrogen? At 20K (-252°C , -426°F)?

Riversimple seems to have a very clear grasp of the global problem we face, I am not convinced yet about some of the details of their solution.

Thank you kindly.
 

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Liquid hydrogen is wonderful stuff, except when it come to getting some.
 

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Liquid hydrogen is wonderful stuff, except when it come to getting some.
Agreed.

But since they plan to provide miles, in stead of cars, they plan to build a hydrogen filling network alongside the spread of their cars. Starting in the UK.
They seem to have learned from Tesla's SC-network. Because their hydrogen filling network is a new goal, which they didn't have a few months back.
I think it could work. The Rasa being a light 2 person car for short-medium range. I see it as a second car.
The coupling of hydrogen to supercapacitors leads to an impressive range and takes away much of the disadvantage of energy inefficiency of the hydrogen-route imho.

Rest assured: I'm totally convinced by the double transition of Tesla: BEV + AD. Especially for people who will want to own their car in the future, because they do a lot of miles themselves.
The Rasa-concept could be an option for second cars and people who don't use cars a lot. Who just want easy and environmentally friendly transport, without needing to do a big investment.
A third option being shared cars. Could be a strange concept for the US, but here in Europe it's a fast growing segment - especially among young city dwellers. This option will take a huge flight imho when those shared cars will become autonomous.
 
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garsh

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Do they REALLY mean liquid hydrogen?
Apparently, it's been done before.

BMW Hydrogen 7
The hydrogen fuel is stored in a large, nearly 170 litre (45 gallon),[6] bi-layered and highly insulated tank that stores the fuel as liquid rather than as compressed gas
...
To stay a liquid, hydrogen must be super-cooled and maintained at cryogenic temperatures of, at warmest, −253 °C (−423.4 °F).
 
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MichelT3

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To go back to a point which we diverted from: why are supercapacitors not used to store regen energy?
Because they can charge and decharge must faster. And as I understand also much more efficiently.
Not in stead of batteries for base energy. If you add a not too big supercapacitor it should be possible to find room in the car for that, I believe. It doesn't need to be in the space for the batteries in the floor.
 

garsh

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why are supercapacitors not used to store regen energy?
Think of it this way.

In order to regen (or accelerate - doesn't matter which direction the electrons are flowing for the most part) at really high rates, you need to make sure that the motors aren't going to overpower the tires. As you can see in this thread, the P100D is already at the point where the battery can keep up with the maximum acceleration permitted by the tires. So I'd argue that including a supercapacitor isn't going to do much to help the situation.

Supercapacitors are more efficient during charge/discharge.

Supercapacitors cost a *lot* more.

If you find extra space within your car for a supercapacitor, you could instead use that space to store batteries instead, and it would add 20 times as much range as the supercapacitor would.

And probably the main reason not to add a supercapacitor is that the charge/discharge circuitry would become a lot more complicated. Now you have to decide when to send regen to the battery vs the supercapacitor. You need smarts to determine when to send power from the supercapacitor (and battery) to the motors. You would also probably need to recharge the battery from the supercapacitor at times. And perhaps vice-versa, if you're getting ready for a drag race. It's just not worth the hassle for a mass-market, production vehicle.

Anyhow, my opinion. Feel free to add supercapacitors to your personal vehicles. :)
 
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Guy Weathersby

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It seems to me that every year or two I see an article about a breakthrough in supercapacitor technology that will sweep away all of their downsides.