• Mar 10th 2007 at 8:53PM
  • 5

Readers who are familiar with hybrid and electric vehicle drivetrains will already know what a capacitor is, but here is a brief explanation. A battery is a chemical means of storing electricity, while a capacitor is a mechanical means of storing electricity. Both can be recharged, and both can be discharged. One reason to choose a capacitor over a battery is that the mechanical capacitor can generally charge and discharge its electrical energy much more quickly than the chemical battery can. Alternatively, one reason to choose a chemical battery is that they generally store a longer lasting charge of electricity at lower voltages than the mechanical capacitor can. A quick high charge of current (capacitor), or a slower, longer lasting charge of current (battery). Hope that makes sense.

Carmakers have already realized the benefits of a hybrid battery\capacitor energy storage system. Aftermarket and automotive supplier companies have been working on capacitor technology as well; EEStor springs right to mind as one to watch. Researchers at the University of Arizona have used nanotechnology to create a new type of capacitor called Digitized Energy Storage Devices. or DESD's. According to them, "DESDs have a very high capacitance-to-volume ratio that's more than 10,000 times larger than a conventional parallel-plate capacitor of the same size. This makes for a device with large capacitance in a small package."

This is a rather exciting technology to watch, and if you are interested in more of the science behind their work, click here and read the whole article.

EDIT: Added the link to the source article above.


[Source: University of Arizona]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe I'm missing something? But don't we need to create a way to regenerate power from the wheels to a Capacitor/Core that would store energy rather then battery technology. As an EV owner, I love when my car REGENS in city driving but would like it to REGEN more on the Highway. I only hope (in the future) we may be able to create power, by the wheels turning and store it into a core which will allow us to release it into the grid rather then charging the vehicle. Capacitor, Core, Solar Roof and Regeneration! I can hardly wait:)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Where is the source article?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Found it! Click on the picture in the article, or here: http://uanews.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects/UANews.woa/3/wa/SRStoryDetails?ArticleID=13679
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sounds like with further development this type of technology could greatly advance EVs and PHEVs. These could be used in conjunction with a small LiOn battery so that weight is not concern for hybrids and EVs. All the while the car will be able to go for longer periods before needing a charge, be able to charge faster and allow better acceleration. Am I missing something in how great stuff like this is?? Initial cost until this becomes more conventional probably is the only downside.

      Consider also this- with carbon nanotubes that are stronger and far lighter than steel, by the time 2020 rolls around even cars with the conventional ICE will get far greater MPG. Combine that with the tech described as the subject of this article and you can bet that by 2020 there will be EVs that can go 1000 miles on a single charge. Cars could even have a very small scale ICE or diesel that would act as a reserve when electric power gets real low.

      I look forward to a world where petropolitics is all but eliminated. A few decades away still, yet I look forward to it. Should be interesting to see how a country like Venezuela that is almost communist and ruining an entire continent reacts once the money stops rolling in from capitalist countries.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Click here... where? :-)
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