The first electric boat in the world powered 100% by supercapacitors has been named this Wednesday, September 18, 2013 in Lorient (France). This electric ferry that will shuttle between Lorient and Pen-Mané (Locmiquélic) is aptly named: Ar Vag Tredan means "electric boat" in Breton, the local historical language. Built by STX shipyard in Lanester, this boat shuttle with exclusively electric propulsion will charge at each stop in just 4 minutes. A capacity provided by the charging speed of supercapacitors that far exceeds that of traditional batteries. This is certainly a breakthrough for the design and construction of ships "zero emission".
Eesha Khare, a 18 years schoolgirl educated in a school in Silicon Valley in California, won an award May 17 during the competition "Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2013" and received a $ 50 000 check for his supercapacitor project. "A high school student creates a super capacitor to recharge a smartphone in 20 seconds." It is with such catchy title that some media announced the news. If the feat of the girl is real, it is an exaggeration to say that she has invented a sufficiently high performance supercapacitor to replace our Smartphone battery. The work of the young girl especially show that research on supercapacitors moving fast, and that in future they might advantageously replace some batteries. Supercapacitors are kind of fastest batteries that can allow to recharge a smartphone in 20 to 30 seconds. It still lacks the supercapacitor to dethrone the batteries, it is a better energy density to last longer for a weight and a given volume (Recharge your phone in 20 seconds is not very interesting if need to recharge 2 or 3 times a day in return).
Scientists from the University of South Carolina have invented a T-shirt making battery capable of charging laptops and other mobile electronic devices in the near future. Researchers have indeed managed to turn a T-Shirt in supercapacitor by a simple and inexpensive process: The cotton T-shirt is dipped in a sodium fluoride solution for one hour. It is then dried in an oven for 3 hours, then heated for 1 hour in an oven at a higher temperature. supercapacitor Textilea this stage, the cotton is then converted into activated carbon textile while retaining flexibility.
UCLA researchers (University of California-Los Angeles) were able to produce graphene supercapacitor electrodes using a simple DVD burner sold commercially. The method is based on a DVD disc coated with a thin plastic film (PET) which has been removed from the graphite oxide. The DVD is inserted into a standard DVD burner (LightScribe) then treated with infrared laser engraver to produce graphene electrodes. The infrared laser DVD burner causes the reduction and simultaneous exfoliation of graphite oxide and produces isolated graphene monolayers but tangled called "Laser Scribed Graphene" (LSG). Graphene LSG is taken off and placed on a flexible substrate and then sliced to form electrodes. Two electrodes are sandwiched with an electrolyte layer in the middle. The result is a high density electrochemical capacitor, said supercapacitor.
An international team of researchers has succeeded in a numerical simulation of the interactions that take place at the molecular level within the electrodes of supercapacitors. This is an important advance in the understanding of the energy storage mechanisms and this experience opens prospects for significant improvements of ultracapacitors. The operation of a supercapacitor is very different from that of an electrochemical battery. Supercapacitors have the ability to store and deliver more power than batteries. They do not operate on the basis of chemical reactions and can charge or discharge very quickly and last up to a million charge-discharge cycles.
You are handy and you want to test supercapacitors in a concrete project? Antoine Roussel shows on his blog "The creative family" how to make a flashlight using a supercap: Immortal flashlight (in french). The author explains step by step how to make it with photos and electric plans. The result is a flashlight that illuminates for 15 minutes (without loss of brightness) and recharges quickly. Antoine Roussel goes even further by adding a USB port to the device to easily recharge his flashlight from a computer, a car radio or other electronic device with a USB port (while charging is done in 1 minute).
Ioxus, a US company specializing in high performance supercapacitors, launches new supercapacitor 3,000 farads: the iCap. Ioxus complete its range with a supercapacitor with a very high power density to be used for new uses in industry. With iCap, Ioxus offers energy storage cell powerful enough for the automotive sector and to have an efficacy / cost very interesting in the field of electricity storage for renewable energy such as wind energy and photovoltaics.
Few people know it, but supercapacitors are already in use in many car models for brake energy regeneration and Start-Stop systems (not only in electric vehicles). Indeed, ultracapacitors are particularly effective in meeting this need. Able to charge and discharge very quickly and almost without wear, the supercapacitor appears as an ultra-fast and reliable battery. Start-Stop system to cut the engine off In 2010, PSA was the first car manufacturer to have had the idea of using supercapacitors to optimize the Start-Stop system that cuts the engine when the car stops with gear lever in neutral to save some fuel.