Author Topic: "super supercap"  (Read 3848 times)

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Offline cloudscapes

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"super supercap"
« on: February 16, 2013, 04:30:35 pm »
http://www.upworthy.com/see-the-scientific-accident-that-may-change-the-world-or-at-least-your-battery-l

What say you? Interesting? Snake oil? There's very little science in this scientific video, but then again most videos aimed at common people are like that.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 04:46:45 pm »
Not snake oil, just not ground shattering ... graphene super capacitors are a bit niche, higher discharge current than supercapacitors but of course still lower energy density than batteries.

Most people are more interested in energy density though. The most likely future for high density energy storage for electrical devices is the same it's been for the last decade ... DEFC.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 04:49:51 pm by Marco »
 

Offline westfw

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 07:25:35 am »
Current supercapacitors are made from activated charcoal or carbon aerogels, so extending the concept to other forms of micro- or nano- structured carbon is not a very big leap.  The "graphene from graphite oxide using a consumer DVD burner" has shown up in various places before, but it turns out that "graphite oxide" is far from a common or easy-to-prepare (or safe) chemical, so it's not clear that this really makes for a revolutionary discovery in terms of "process."  Presumably, this is where "chemical engineering" comes in (as opposed to solid state physics, nano-technology, or chemistry.)

There are still electrical engineering problems.  Just because a "capacitor" is theoretically chargeable "instantly" doesn't mean that it is practical to do so.  Even with current electric vehicle batteries, you need to get a dedicated high-power outlet installed in order to charge the battery "overnight."  A capacitor might charge faster, but that doesn't mean that charger technology, or residential wiring, or the power grid, can keep up with faster charge rates.

Current supercapacitors have FAR less capacity than batteries on either a per-weight or per-volume basis.  I can't tell whether graphene caps would change that.  Probably not; it would seem to me that storing energy in chemical bonds is always going to be a higher density solution that storing energy by forcing electrons into a "bucket."

I find the steps between "chemistry in a lab process" and "large scale manufacturing" to be wildly incomprehensible.  In electronics, there is fairly obvious linear scaling and use of robotics and such; "bigger machines go faster and do more things at once."  In chemistry... there is a lot of magic.  Conversions between batch processes and continuous processes.  Recycling of reagents.  Things that go boom...  Shudder.

(also, there are all those thin-film processes for solar cells that have been touted as being a step toward "extremely cheap manufacturing" that have not panned out very well.)
 

Offline Psi

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 10:18:27 am »
cough*eestor*cough
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline ptricks

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 03:09:47 pm »
When I first encountered electronics about 30 years ago the local ham guy was explaining  capacitor values  to me and said that 1 farad caps were so large we would never see one  ???
 

Offline westfw

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 02:45:12 am »
Quote
eestor
I hadn't heard of them.  They'd better get a move on if they expect to make much money before their original patents expire!
It's a shame (and not very confidence-inspiring) that they seem so exclusively focused on their electric vehicle energy storage device; if their technology works, even on a much smaller scale, it would have a lot of uses.  At 2.5x the energy density of LiIon, the laptop and cellphone industry would eat them up.
 

Online BravoV

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 02:49:41 am »
Quote
eestor
I hadn't heard of them.  They'd better get a move on if they expect to make much money before their original patents expire!
It's a shame (and not very confidence-inspiring) that they seem so exclusively focused on their electric vehicle energy storage device; if their technology works, even on a much smaller scale, it would have a lot of uses.  At 2.5x the energy density of LiIon, the laptop and cellphone industry would eat them up.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Offline IanB

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 03:11:22 am »
I find the steps between "chemistry in a lab process" and "large scale manufacturing" to be wildly incomprehensible.  In electronics, there is fairly obvious linear scaling and use of robotics and such; "bigger machines go faster and do more things at once."  In chemistry... there is a lot of magic.  Conversions between batch processes and continuous processes.  Recycling of reagents.  Things that go boom...  Shudder.

That's one of the things that makes chemical engineering fun (says me, as a chemical engineer)  :)

It's mainly because during scale up of chemical processes there tends to be a qualitative change in the process. Something that takes 20 intricate steps in the laboratory wouldn't fly in production (too costly, too much waste), so those 20 laboratory steps have to be boiled down to three or four industrial steps. Understanding how to do that design and innovation is one of the major elements of chemical engineering.

I'd say it's not so much magic as creative thinking. If anyone doesn't believe engineering is a creative discipline, there is much they don't understand about engineering.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

HLA-27b

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Re: "super supercap"
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 06:26:57 pm »
The same guys just released a pdf with some interesting figures and graphs. Maybe somebody can work out theoretical storage density from that?

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n2/extref/ncomms2446-s1.pdf
 


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