What is an ultracapacitor?



  1. 0 Votes

    An ultracapacitor is a new type of battery, “Instead of storing energy electrochemically [like a normal battery], it stores it in an electric field.” This allows for a much longer lifetime and better efficiency. Ultracapacitors are likely to come into play with new generations of hybrid vehicles, or really anything that runs on battery power.

  2. 0 Votes

    An ultracapacitor is also called a double-layer capacitor or a supercapacitor. It unites the strengths of both conventional capacitors and batteries to create a device that is both high power and high energy. Because they do not use chemical reactions to store energy like batteries do, they have the ability to be charged and discharged quickly and suffer less degradation. Ultracapacitors were first used in weapons technology–in missiles, submarines, tanks, etc, but today have expanded to various civilian vehicles as well.

  3. 0 Votes

    An ultracapacitor, or double-walled capacitor, is an energy storage device based upon the principle of maximizing the available surface area within a given volume in order to store up electric charge.

    Ultracapacitors differ from batteries in that the stored energy is not based upon chemical potential energy, but rather electric charge lying flat against a surface (as a hole in a string of electrons occupies essentially no volume).  The principal advantage of ultracapacitors over batteries in their applications today, such as electric buses, is their ability to charge much more quickly than even the most advanced batteries. Ultracapacitors hold great potential as a technology for many energy storage applications in the future, since the only limit to the amount of charge is a practical one based upon the available materials and manufacturing techniques. Today’s research on ultracapacitors focuses mainly on the use of novel materials such as crumpled graphene (see citation #1) or macadamia nuts (see citation #2), and on bringing down the costs of nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes used in the manufacture of these devices.

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