Researchers in University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) made a device that may help bring hydrogen powered vehicles to the masses. This device uses sunlight to produce both hydrogen and electricity at the same time. The UCLA device is a hybrid unit that combines a supercapacitor with a hydrogen fuel cell, and runs on solar power. [via]
People need fuel to run their vehicles and electricity to run their devices,” says Richard Kaner, senior author of the study. “Now you can make both fuel and electricity with a single device.
Along with the usual positive and negative electrodes, the device has a third electrode that can either store energy electrically or use it to split water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms – a process called water electrolysis.
FastCAP Systems has launched its latest product – a board mountable chip ultracapacitor. This new product offering is the first low ESR, thin-profile, reflowable ultracapacitor on the market and is now available for purchase in FastCAP’s online store.
This chip ultracap has the highest energy density of any board-mountable ultracapacitor. The sealed ceramic package is pick and place compatible, RoHS compliant and Pb-free reflow compliant.
The supercapacitor provides maintenance free storage in a small form factor, perfect for thin devices that require reliability and long lifetime at high temperatures (up to +85°C). This new technology is well suited for applications such as power loss protection for solid state drives, power buffering for lithium-ion batteries, and auxiliary power supplies for peak and pulsed power, wireless sensors, and energy harvesting.
Researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore build a new type of flexible supercapacitor that aims to be used in wearables and other portable electronics such as T-shirts charging mobile phones. The new type of capacitor is made with out-of-plane wavy structures of graphene micro-ribbons specially placed so that they don’t break when stretched while keeping the electrodes at a relative constant distance.
Graphene normally breaks when stretched but the team of researchers managed to place it in such a way that it can bend without any issue and without affecting it’s electrochemical performance. It’s too early to see this capacitor in commercial devices as it’s capacity is such that can only power an LCD for a minute, but improvement is possible.
Peggy Lee @ newelectronics.co.uk discuss about MURATA’s ultra thin supercapacitor.
The DMH series from Murata is said to be the lowest profile supercapacitor. The product is designed for peak power assist duties in wearable applications and various other devices.
Measuring 20 x 20mm, the 0.4mm thick DMHA14R5V353M4ATA0 supercapacitor is claimed to be suitable for use in the thinnest devices. A 4.5V rated voltage, 35mF capacity and low ESR of 300mΩ enable peak power assist in tens of milliseconds, with lithium-ion batteries.
Ultra thin supercapacitor for peak power assist – [Link]
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have been looking for alternatives for lithium rechargeable batteries which are largely used in every device.
Using two-dimensional (2D) transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) capacitive materials, they are building a new supercapacitor that overcomes the performance of conventional lithium battery and replaces its efficiently.
Transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers (TMDs) are atomically thin semiconductors of the type MX₂, with M a transition metal atom and X a chalcogen atom. One layer of M atoms is sandwiched between two layers of X atoms.
TMDs are considered as promising capacitive materials for supercapacitor devices since they provide a suitable current conduction path and a robust large surface to increase the structure’s high energy and power density.
Researchers have developed “high-performance core/shell nanowire supercapacitors based on an array of one-dimensional (1D) nanowires seamlessly integrated with conformal 2D TMD layers. The 1D and 2D supercapacitor components possess “one-body” geometry with atomically sharp and structurally robust core/shell interfaces, as they were spontaneously converted from identical metal current collectors via sequential oxidation/sulfurization” according to the research paper.
The new prototype is said to be charged 30,000 times without any draining, 20 times the lifetime of an ordinary battery.
“You could charge your mobile phone in a few seconds and you wouldn’t need to charge it again for over a week,” says UCF postdoctoral associate Nitin Choudhary.
Battery anxiety is a modern day problem for many of us. Mobile phone and wearable technologies are getting developed rapidly, but battery issues seem to be neverending. As phones and wearables are getting thinner, there needs to be a trade-off between battery life and design. Scientists are searching for a way to make a battery that’s tiny yet capable of holding the charge for a long time. So, what’s the solution? Supercapacitor.
Scientists have been researching on the use of nanomaterials to improve supercapacitors that could enhance or even replace batteries in electronic devices. But it’s not an easy task. Considering a typical supercapacitor, it must be a large one to store as much energy as a Li-ion battery holds.
To tackle the battery issue, a team of scientists at the University of Central Florida (UCF) has created a tiny supercapacitor battery applying newly discovered two-dimensional materials with only a few atoms thick layer. Surprisingly, the new process created at UCF yields a supercapacitor that doesn’t degrade even after it’s been recharged/discharged 30,000 times. Where a lithium-ion battery can be recharged less than 1,500 times without significant failure.
So, what else makes the supercapacitor special apart from their tiny size? Well, let’s hear it from Nitin Choudhary, a postdoctoral associate who conducted much of the research :
If they were to replace the batteries with these supercapacitors, you could charge your mobile phone in a few seconds and you wouldn’t need to charge it again for over a week.
Supercapacitors are not used in mobile devices for their large size. But the team at UCF has developed supercapacitors composed of millions of nanometer-thick wires coated with shells of two-dimensional materials. A highly conductive core helps fast electron transfer for fast charging and discharging. And uniformly coated shells of two-dimensional (2D) materials produce high energy and power densities.
Scientists already knew 2D materials held great promise for energy storage purpose. But until the UCF developed the process for integrating those materials, it was not possible to realize that potential. Nitin Choudhary said,
For small electronic devices, our materials are surpassing the conventional ones worldwide in terms of energy density, power density, and cyclic stability.
Supercapacitors that use the new materials could be used in phones, wearables, other electronic gadgets, and electric vehicles. Though it’s not ready for commercialization yet. But the research team at UCF hopes this technology will soon end the battery problem of smartphones and other devices. So let’s wait awhile, and at the end of this year maybe you’ll be using a new smartphone that can be charged in seconds and lasts for a week, who knows!
LTC3130 and LTC3130-1 are synchronous current mode buck-boost converters that deliver up to 600 mA of continuous output current from a wide variety of input sources, including single- or multiple-cell batteries as well as solar panels and supercapacitors. By Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com
Their 2.4V to 25V input voltage range and 1V to 25V output range (LTC3130 is adjustable) provide a regulated output with inputs above, below or equal to the output. User selectable Burst Mode operation lowers quiescent current to 1.6 µA (1.2 µA at no load) improving light load efficiency and extending battery run time. The proprietary buck-boost topology incorporated in the LTC3130/-1 provides low noise, jitter-free switching through all operating modes, for RF and precision analogue applications that are sensitive to power supply noise.
25V, 600 mA buck-boost DC/DC with 1.6 µA Iq – [Link]
Zero-power autonomous devices will abound on the IoT of the future, and battery manufacturers are scratching their heads to come up with the best possible solution ensuring high energy and power density at miniature scale. A new material developed recently at Finland-based VTT shows promise, based on energy and power density of a supercapacitor depending on the surface area and conductivity of the solid electrodes. The size? So small it fits inside an IC.
It was reported last year that researchers at Rice University in the US, led by chemist James Tour had developed a method of producing a form of graphene on commercial polyimide plastic sheet by zapping it with a laser. The process is called LIG (Laser Induced Graphene). The resulting graphene layer is not a conventional flat sheet made up of hexagonally-organized atoms but instead a spongy array of graphene flakes attached to the polyamide, giving a greatly increased surface area. This property can be exploited to build supercapacitors.
A novel design of supercapacitor using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid has been developed by researchers working at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The device is said to provide an electrical energy storage capacity rivaling certain batteries, with both a high energy density and high power density.
The new material is composed of a silica sol-gel thin film containing polar groups linked to the silicon atoms and a nanoscale self-assembled monolayer of an octylphosphonic acid, which provides the insulating properties. The bilayer structure blocks the injection of electrons into the sol-gel material, providing low leakage current, high breakdown strength and high energy extraction efficiency.