New supercapacitor battery tech lasts for days, charges in seconds

“Scientists from the University of Central Florida (UCF) have created a supercapacitor battery prototype that works like new even after being recharged 30,000 times,” Steve Dent reports for Engadget. “The research could yield high-capacity, ultra-fast-charging batteries that last over 20 times longer than a conventional lithium-ion cell. ‘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.”

“Supercapacitors can be charged quickly because they store electricity statically on the surface of a material, rather than using chemical reactions like batteries. That requires ‘two-dimensional’ material sheets with large surface areas that can hold lots of electrons,” Dent reports. “However, much of the research, including that by EV-maker Henrik Fisker and UCLA, uses graphene as the two-dimensional material.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Like every “new” battery article, this one also ends, “The research is in early days and not ready for commercialization, but it looks promising.”


Filed under “Holy Grail.”

Battery that will power your phone for ‘twice as long’ coming next year – August 17, 2016
This battery breakthrough could change the world – July 12, 2016
Forgetful scientists’ breakthrough could deliver week-long Apple Watch battery life – August 18, 2015
The mobile battery that charges in a minute – April 7, 2015
Lithium anode breakthrough could double or triple battery life – July 28, 2014


    1. Think large area of very very thin sheets.

      The problem with some device that can charge “in seconds” is that it can “discharge in seconds” when things go wrong.

      That is referred to as a Samdung bomb.

  1. MDN comment of “Wah-wah” indicates too much time in mother’s basement. I suggest going to an electric car race, ride some electric trams in China. Or just Google super-capacitor to buy some one line. Size only matters for laptops, railroads can handle big ones every day. Time to realize the things are not batteries. For your future thoughts think aerogel electrodes for your super capacitor. Talk about lightweight.

  2. You can charge such a capacitor in seconds, provided you have cables at least 1/4 in diameter to carry the current.

    How’s that?

    An 1800 milliamp/hour battery requires 1.8 amps/hour to charge (assuming 100% efficiency). To charge the same battery in 5 minutes takes a little less than 22 amps; 3 minutes=36 amps. But, you’re not going to get 100% efficiency. So, at 85%, you’re also going to have a lot of heat to dissipate. And, your connector contacts will have to be about 1/4 inch square, not the tiny things you have now. Even the slightest resistance in the contacts will result in enough heat to instantly melt the metal, and send molten globs spraying out.

    So, you’ll have wires just a little less thick than jumper cables, a phone that is attached to a heat sink four times its size, and rules against bringing it anyplace near people.

    Ohm’s Law doesn’t just stop existing just because someone announces yet again another battery miracle.

    1. The mathematics that you show is correct, but the assumption behind it might not be. It could be possible to use an external charger which operated at a higher voltage and therefore a lower current so that the contacts could be less bulky.

      The super capacitors themselves could then be charged via a solid state power convertor within the iPhone, which would reduce the voltage and increase the current available for the super capacitors.

      However I would also imagine that by the time that super capacitors are commercially viable, medium range wireless charging will be the norm on Apple devices and there will be less need for a really rapid charge. Charging wirelessly while at home, in the office or in the car will mean that your iPhone is frequently getting topped up anyway.

      1. There are obvious applications for super capacitors to power electric cars, but rapid charging might be quite a challenge. While a capacitor can be charged in seconds, the battery on a car might have has a capacity of 60kWh. If you wish to charge it within 1 minute, you’ll need to develop a way to transfer 360kW within that minute. It’s not an impossible problem, but it’s quite a challenge to do it in a way that is both safe and convenient to use.

        One of the big advantages of super capacitors is that they don’t use lithium. Lithium is a relatively rare element and supplies are limited. Widespread adoption of electrically powered vehicles would become more practical if they didn’t need to source lithium in huge quantities.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.