Imagine a future where your mobile phone can be charged in one se… done, your laptop in seconds or your car in minutes. Imagine, in that future, you forget batteries and your child ask you curious about that relic on a museum. Batteries are the new tubes. Nobody will remember them but nerds…
That future is possible and is getting closer as science investigates. Check this article on Journal of Power Sources about some new:
Or ultra capacitors, depending on the exaggeration
Why SC instead of batteries?
Both stores energy. But there are some differences on how that storage is carried out. Batteries are chemical magic obscure and incredibly complicated –for me-. Capacitors are based on electric field trapped between two conductive layers close one to the other but separated by non conductive thin layer. Much simpler!
The difference has several interesting effects: a battery have lots of energy but the speed for taking or giving that energy is limited, and is not much –remember how much time your phone is charging-, while for a capacitor is not limited. Also if you move that energy too fast from your battery you will have heating problems… or exploding phones… or fire in your laptop!
What is a SC?
Easy: A capacitor with lots of capacity.
But the concept is far from easy… Normal capacitors that you use on your chargers are in order of µF –divided by one million-, but a SC has capacities of thousands of Farads. And that is… Let me open the calc… 1.000.000.000 times more than a normal capacitor. And of course if you stack several you will multiply your capacity.
Concepts behind those numbers scape from my knowledge. I can only say that technologies used in SC are various and some still under development. Elegant way to say: I have no idea.
The article I’ve referenced in this post talk about new type being developed by Rice and Queensland Universities, and those are made of carbon.
Just simply carbon.