His Capacitors are Super-Duper
Battery 101, Lesson 1: electrochemical batteries are good at relatively slowly releasing their stored energy over minutes and even hours. Their strength lies in their "energy density," the ability to store lots of energy, which in the context of an electric vehicle means driving range. Their weakness is, it also takes a comparable amount of time to recharge them.
Capacitors 101, Lesson 1: capacitors, by contrast, really excel at their ability to quickly charge and discharge that energy. Their strength lies in their "power density," the ability to absorb and release electrical energy in seconds; and they can do this tens of thousands of times with little negative impact on the capacitor, itself. They can't, however, store much energy.
In theory, the ideal electric vehicle battery will find a way to marry or merge the two technologies.
As Bill Campbell, the CEO of Nanotecture, a 16-person nano materials R&D enterprise located on the campus of the University of Southampton in England, sees it, there is an important part to be played by both technologies in the electric vehicles of the future. His firm, now some six year-old, is developing highly porous materials at the nanoscale utilizing proprietary technology for use in supercapacitors. That material has the ability to increase the "energy density" of an supercapacitor, without inhibiting its power density and charge/discharge ability.
In this 30-minute video dialogue EV World's Bill Moore talks with Campbell from his office in Southampton about the promise of Nanotecture's research into fabricating materials for supercapacitors, as well as their development of these important power/energy storage devices. The video is divided into two segments, so be sure to watch both, and you'll learn what role their prismatic-shaped supercapacitors will play in the development of more efficient and affordable electric vehicles.
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