Taiyo Yuden in Japan and others have recently announced lithium supercabatteries with improved properties. However, before considering these combinations of supercapacitor and battery technology it is worth tracking improvements in the basic supercapacitor technology.
The reason is that we seek to make them do more of the work in electric vehicles so the expense and relatively short life and limited charge-discharge capability of lithium-ion traction batteries is less of a limitation. In some case, batteries may be avoided altogether. Although almost all the running in supercapacitors has come from Japan, where they were invented, and the USA, it is in Europe that the latest breakthrough is claimed.
Skeleton Technologies, an energy-storage start-up based in Tartu, Estonia, has been awarded a US patent on its nanoporous carbon powder supercapacitor material. According to Skeleton, the material has a very high surface area and a high packing of nanopores.
According to experts, the material enables the modification of the porosity and pore-size structure of carbon particles in a way in which the surface of carbon particles contain larger pores than the inside of particles. This allows increased access to nanopores by the liquids, in turn raising the energy density and low internal resistance of the nanostructured material raises the power density.
The US patent gives Skeleton a breakthrough to the global market and gives the company protection for carbide-derived-carbons suitable for energy storage applications. A patent is also pending in the EU.
Skeleton Technologies says its supercapacitors based on the material can deliver more power than other supercapacitors on the market at the same weight and volume. Also they say the technology enables delivering the same performance as competitive devices at a lower price.
"The biggest problems today for energy storage units are low energy and power density. Mass-produced super-capacitors are too big and heavy for many modern applications, and are also expensive due to the amount of materials needed," explains Jaan Leis, one of the inventors from Skeleton Technologies. Skeleton's patented material and unique electrode manufacturing technology allow it to significantly reduce the cost of the devices as due to the high performance of the material, smaller amounts of it can achieve results similar to competitors.
The supercapacitors have passed initial tests by industry experts and major corporations and Skeleton Technologies plans to enter production for the market by 2013.
For more attend Electric Vehicles - Land Sea Air Europe 2011
which has now been renamed from Future of Electric Vehicles to reflect its unique covering of the whole subject.