We all want to see smart devices that can fully charge their batteries within a minute or two and stay powered up all day or longer. This same consumer desire is driving automakers to work on energy storage systems that enable electric vehicles to charge as quickly as a traditional car can fill its gas tank, to fully absorb recuperative braking energy in the few seconds it takes to heed a stop sign, and to provide hundreds of miles of range between charges. Both capacitor and battery manufacturers are pursuing ways to store more energy without sacrificing power capability and to provide higher charge and discharge rates without sacrificing stored energy. For now, though, these are incomplete, ongoing quests.
Maxwell's HC Series portfolio of products.
The reality is that individually, batteries or capacitors can be optimized for the best energy or power performance possible with a given chemistry, but energy is ultimately compromised to gain power and vice versa. Today's answer to power and energy needs in applications should be to use the best of both in combination with each other: batteries and capacitors together. Some day, there will be a mass-market device that delivers both high power and long runtime in the same package. Right now, such a solution does not exist.
So when you read that there is such a device, ask the questions that can reveal the real situation. Can it be done affordably? Does it really work as described? How did this device solve this highly complex problem, which has been around since the dawn of energy storage? Does the solution even seem reasonable? If the answer to all of these questions is "yes," then we have arrived. Until that time, look for energy from batteries and power from capacitors, and when an application demands both, use both.
Care to tell me what the cost of a simple Kwhr of storage with Maxwell supercaps is?
Facts are SC will never be used for anything but very short pulses of power. Nor do they mention the expensive electronics needed to produce that power to a load because to get it's full power, a cap/SC needs to go from full voltage to 0 volts so not only are SC ungodly expensive themselves but expensive to use.
And there are batteries like A123 that over 1 minute output easily creams SC's output by I bet 1,000x's of the cost. Even in the 1 second range A123 beats them in practical operations.
Even lead batteries/Bolder type beat SC's hands down on specific power of any length.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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