Scientists have increased the density of the supercapacitor by 10 times. Now batteries based on them, which are charged almost instantly, are able to store enough energy to power the electric car engine. This is stated in a study by scientists from University College London and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, published in the journal Nature Energy.
Unlike batteries, supercapacitors charge very quickly – however, their discharge also occurs at high speed. The fact is that existing supercapacitors have a very low energy density – about 1/20 of the battery capacity.
However, batteries with supercapacitors are already in limited use – for example, in Chinese public transport. But the bus in which such a battery is installed is forced to charge at almost every stop.
In their work, the researchers proposed a new design of the supercapacitor, which uses films of graphene laminate with the same distance between the layers.
The work showed that when the pores in the membranes exactly correspond to the size of the electrolyte ions, the energy density increases drastically — about 10 times compared to conventional supercapacitors.
In addition, scientists note, the new material has a long service life, retaining 97.8% of its energy intensity after 5000 cycles of charging and discharging. The new supercapacitors are also very flexible – they can be bent up to 180 degrees.