Super Capacitors versus Batteries – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)
Researchers have long been working on the ultimate energy storage products. One of the achievements related to high energy storage is the use of a capacitor. The term capacitor refers to a device that stores a small current by static energy rather than through a chemical reaction.
A super capacitor is a capacitor that has a high energy storage capability and at the same time it has high capabilities as well as functions. The limitations of the battery has made them lose significance. In this regard, key players in the renewable energy industry have predicted that super capacitors will gradually and eventually replace batteries.
Are Super Capacitors Going to Make Batteries Obsolete
The best way of defending this premise is through making a comprehensive comparison of the battery viz a viz the super capacitor in order to defend the premise that the use of batteries will be eliminated in order to give way for super capacitors. To start with, the batteries need regular recharging. This can be very inconveniencing. The super capacitors can be charged and recharged indefinitely. They do not carry a battery life problem.
Batteries consume a lot of time in charging. It takes hours to fully charge it. This leads to waste of time and resources. Super capacitors take about 10 seconds to recharge. In connection to this, it should be noted that the super capacitor does not need end of charge termination. It can detect and respond appropriately when it has reached the threshold for charging. When the capacitor is full, the current simply stops flowing. Moreover, it just draws the charge it needs and no room for overcharging.
The battery as we know it today, carries high maintenance demands as well as costs. It is not uncommon to find cases of wear and tear in the batteries. Being electrochemical, they have a defined life cycle. The older they get the less charge they hold. The process of cycling a super capacitor is not vulnerable to tear and wear. In addition to that, age does not affect the product. It remains as functional as new. It should be noted that it does not need replacement.
Fifth, the super capacitor is environmental friendly. Processes that are environmental friendly focus on how best to use less of each available resource. For example, the fact that the super capacitor does not take more charge when it is full translates to energy saving efforts. Similarly, the fact that it does not need replacement means that less resources will be used in the long run. Each time a battery is used, it means that some resources from planet earth are used. When such resources are used repeatedly, it could lead to far reaching consequences such as energy crisis and depletion of resources.
The Challenges ahead for Ultracapacitors
Lastly, researchers are receiving more funding in order to investigate the current limitations facing the super capacitor and consequently offer viable and sustainable solutions. Such limitations include the following: low specific energy (holding just a fraction of the battery), linear discharge voltage, high self discharge, low cell voltage, and high cost per watt. The good thing is that with adequate funding and the right human resource, such problems will have solutions. For example, tests are being carried out on improving the functionality of the electric vehicle more so its use with the super capacitor.
There is all the likelihood that the super capacity will make the battery obsolete. This will apply in all areas, from vehicles to the mobile phones. Finally, complete fuel independence will be a reality. Overall, the super capacitor is a supreme energy storage product that is never dying and forever rechargeable.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.