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UltraCapacitors to Replace Batteries?

Popular Science has just gotten a scoop that I've been waiting for ages to see. Ultracapacitors, which are completely shunned by most auto companies, have been quietly continuing development at small companies and where to buy viagra uk in universities all over the world. The reason they've been so largely ignored is that they hold so much less energy than batteries. The best commercially available ultracaps have about 5% of the energy density of batteries.

Yet they also have tremendous advantages. You can charge them all the way up and all the way down without damaging them (lithium ion batteries stop functioning when charged all the way down.) They contain no chemical reagents and so are thermally stable under all conditions. And they can charge and discharge much faster than batteries.

Popular Science was recently able to visit a lab at MIT working on advanced vehicle technologies. One of these technologies is a nano-tube ultracapacitor that could potentially hold half the charge of viagra online for women a lithium ion battery. And while this alone doesn't sound all that exciting, it's a lot cooler when you realize that most batteries in hybrid cars hardly ever use more than 20% of their charge in order to extend the batteries life.

That's right, 80% of the battery just sits there and never discharges. Ultracapacitors could discharge completely, over and over again, and never need to be replaced.

Unfortunately, after two years of work, the nano-tube capacitors still haven't hit their theoretical capacity. And while it might not take long for them to make capacitors that have competitive energy levels, it will certainly take years, if not decades, to scale the technology up to industrial level.

Via PopMech

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Comments (4)Add Comment
50%, not 20/80
written by Billy, March 01, 2008
Lithium-Ion batteries in cars are always in the 30-80% range of capacity to extend the life. This is 50% utilization, not 20%.
written by rollie, March 02, 2008
No commercially available hybrid uses lithium batteries- they use nickel or lead (some aftermarket conversions do use lithium- but that voids the warranties).

My understanding of the max. charge on the nickel batteries is approx. 80% due to temp. fluctuations of the batteries (toyota makes 1 battery whether you drive in texas or toronto) it CAN be higher,but they have to allow some room for error/temp fluctutations.
Using only 20% would seem extremely wasteful.
They're all we really need to get starte
written by Ugly American, March 05, 2008
The vast majority of hybrid MPG improvement comes from regenerative breaking and reusing that power to start from a dead stop. Modern capacitors already have the capacity to do it.

The future increases will come when they stop making parallel hybrids and cialis en mexico switch to true serial systems that completely decouple the generator from the click now viagra 100mg wheel load. That will allow it to run at peak efficiency. It will also make the use of very high power but low torque generators like microturbines practical.
written by James Jackson, April 05, 2008
I noticed a webiste out there called They seem to have some running information on cheap prescription levitra the development of cheapest viagra price ultracapacitors.

I think with companies like EEStor, it's only a matter of time before the energy density of capacitors match batteries.


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