Monday, 24 November 2014

Graphene-Based Supercapacitors for Battery-Free Electric Cars


Graphene-Based Supercapacitors
Photo credit: AlexanderAlUS, CC
Change in Power Battery free Electric Cars

Latest technology has brought about a change in power battery free electric cars within five years with scientists developing graphene based super capacitors which are light and can be used to create electric vehicles that are powered by their own parts of the body rather than the batteries.

Electric cars is considered as the future of sustainable transport but are held back due to the fact they need heavy, slow releasing batteries to power them and the top end Lithium-ion batteries available in the market tend to charge really slowly besides weighing a lot.

A better option is to use supercapacitors devices which could release a large energy burst though they are difficult to store much energy as batteries and hence plenty of them would be needed to power a car. Scientist have worked their way to combine batteries and supercapacitors to make batteries powerful as well as lighter in the shortest term though the ultimate goal is to create super capacitor which would also store a large amount of energy.

Since batteries seem to be the limiting element in the popularity of electric car, they are also one of the most expensive components of the vehicle, having limited range when compared to gasoline powered vehicles.

Supercapacitors Film to replace Battery

There have been remarkable changes recently wherein a team of researchers have developed a supercapacitor film which could replace the requirements of battery within the next five years and the collaboration between scientist at Queensland University of Technology and Rice University has resulted in two papers, published in Nanotechnology and Journal of Power Sources.

The supercapacitors comprises of two layers of graphene having an electrolyte layer at the centre and while the film is strong and very thin, it is able to release a large amount of energy in the shortest possible time, which is a necessity.

The ordinary batteries would take a huge amount of space while the super capacitor film can be integrated in several areas of the vehicle like the roof, floor, doors and the body panels.

The super capacitors of this size would be capable of providing the vehicle with the right amount of energy which the vehicle would be needing while at the same time making the vehicle much lighter.

A Graphene – Charges Quickly

Marco Notarianni, a PhD researcher of QUT stated in a press release that, `since vehicles would need extra energy spurt for acceleration, supercapacitors could be helpful which holds a limited amount of charge and are capable of delivering it swiftly thus making them the appropriate complement to mass storage batteries.

He was the lead author of the Nanotechnology paper - `Super capacitors offer a high power output in a short time, meaning a faster acceleration rate of the car and a charging time of just a few minutes, when compared to several hours of a standard electric car battery’.

Supercapacitor film which is grapheme has the potential of charging fully in a matter of minutes instead of the several hours taken for a conventional battery and though it would charge, releasing energy faster than standard batteries, they presently do not hold so much energy which the scientist are probably intending to change with further research.

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