New type of battery could let people charge gadgets, appliances and electric vehicles in seconds

A new type of battery could let people charge gadgets, appliances and electric vehicles in seconds.

British start-up Zap&Go has developed carbon-ion supercapacitors that allow rapid charging.

The current version is not able to store much power, but the company hopes future generations will store much more.

BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly finds out more in a video report here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, one of these battery breakthroughs really pans out someday!

New battery technology suitable for future iPhone promises tripled power density, full charge in minutes – March 6, 2017
94-year-old inventor of li-ion battery unveils solid-state battery breakthrough – March 1, 2017


      1. I call BullShit!

        If you want to charge a car battery in seconds, you had better have one hell of a monstrous 3 phase industrial power feed to your home.

        Ain’t gonna happen. Quote me – Bo

        1. If you want to charge a car battery in seconds…

          …You’re insane. Any actual chemical battery would BLOW at that charging rate, if only from overheating.

          We’re talking about CAPACITORS here. They’re only being used to mimic the purpose of actual batteries. Capacitors CAN be charged that rapidly. Read the URLs kindly provided here by ‘Good grief…’.

        2. The electric car mantra sounds eerily similar to Microsoft. It gonna be fantastic…just wait until….

          I’ve been reading this crap for the last 40 years….

  1. Battery changes and improvements are coming…you can’t pump Billions into R&D and and not see the improvements. They are already getting much better its just hard to see as these types of improvements happen in 5 and 10 year increments and not annually like software.

  2. Super capacitors are already in use as a key part of the KERS system in Formula 1 racing cars ( alternative KERS alternatives use flywheels or hydraulic systems ). It’s bit like having an extra turbo boost for a short while ( less than 7 seconds at a time is permitted in F1 races ).

    They are a great way of storing a reasonable amount of energy and releasing it almost explosively to cope with peak demands, such as for massive acceleration. They can also be recharged very rapidly too.

    I’d be very surprised if we end up with electrically powered vehicles running exclusively on super capacitors, but they are likely to be found in hybrid vehicles where a relatively small engine powers a generator which will provide the amount of power required on average, but the super capacitor helps out with the surge requirements and can be rapidly recharged when braking regeneratively.

    One thing to bear in mind is that writers glibly talk of the possibility of recharging a vehicle battery in a few seconds. When you think about fully recharging something like a 50kWh vehicle battery in 60 seconds, it would require 3MW ( 3,000 kW ) to be transferred in that minute, therefore if you assume a battery of about 400 Volts as in a Tesla, it will require a current of 7,500 Amps. For conventional copper cables, the current carrying capacity is usually reckoned to be around 1,000A per square inch, so the conductors would each need to be over two inches in diameter. I’m just offering ballpark figures which I’ve worked out in my head. It could well be that I’ve made a mistake, so if anybody spots an error, please correct me.

    Whichever way you look at it, it’s quite a formidable engineering challenge, quite apart from what sort of power distribution infrastructure could support demands of that magnitude. I’m not saying that they are insurmountable problems, but there are significant obstacles which will need to be overcome in imaginative ways.

      1. Just because a battery can be rapidly charged doesn’t mean that it must always be rapidly charged.

        It would be more practical to take several hours to slowly recharge overnight at home from a normal domestic supply, but take advantage of specially built rapid=charge facilities on long journeys – just as Tesla do at the moment.

      2. Further to my previous reply. It could be possible to have ultra rapid rechargers plugged into a standard mains supply if the rechargers themselves used super-capacitors to store that energy slowly over several hours and then release it near-instantaneously to recharge the car.

        Obviously it wouldn’t be able to recharge another vehicle until it had recharged itself again, which might take several hours, so it wouldn’t be something that random people could drive up to and use on demand, but it could work for fleet operators ( taxis, local deliveries, shuttles etc ), where a modest number of vehicles would normally be recharged overnight, but any that need to could be zapped into life again if they return to base during the day or they could be scheduled to recharge when capacity becomes available.

        Apart from what I mentioned with super capacitors having been used in F1 cars for a few years, at the other end of the scale, super capacitors have been used to power buses in places like Israel and Moscow for several years and people are working on using them for railroad trains too for commuter routes where frequent starting and stopping is encountered.

        Beyond that, there are also huge super capacitors in use for load levelling in power stations, especially for unpredictable sources such as wind turbines and solar power, but also in conventional power stations too. There is also talk of using super capacitors to replace local inefficient power generating stations. A massive super capacitor station would store power from the national grid when there is plenty and distribute it locally when demand is high.

        Super capacitors can be made small and lightweight with a high power to weight ratio ( some using carbon nanotubes ), they can also be designed to be cheap and bulky with immense capacity for stationary applications. They are also relatively straightforward to decommission and recycle.

        It’s not a new technology, it’s being worked on and refined in many countries. China is making impressive progress as they are actively embracing the opportunities for providing emission free power systems.

  3. Funny how everybody jumps on the electric vehicle bandwagon, yet, looks at what is happening in PR right now. Gas generators are about the only thing being used to provide electricity. Fossil fuels are going nowhere.

    1. That is because the infrastructure in PR was crumbling long before the Hurricane. Underground cables would be untouched by a hurricane and would have made a huge difference if they had built them. Solar panels are easy to hurricane-proof too, since roofs there tend to be made of concrete. (Spotty power would be far better than none.)

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