Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new type of capacitor which allows up to seven times the electrical storage potential as standard capacitors available today. The breakthrough apparently is a polymer called PVDF which can act as a high-performance dielectric, which is an insulating material between two metal surfaces. Electricians are used to using a dielectric grease on electrical connections, so this may be a familiar concept to some of our readers.

This is good news for the electric and hybrid car industry, as capacitors are a possible alternative to batteries. Unlike batteries, which use a chemical reaction to release their stored energy, capacitors use no chemicals and are capable of storing and releasing a given amount of energy quickly. The problem is that capacitors generally store less energy than batteries. This potential, but untested breakthrough could alleviate some of that deficiency, allowing the capacitor to store more energy while still enabling that energy to be charged and discharged rapidly. EEStor is a name that has been thrown around on our blogs, as they claim to have a capacitor based system which rivals expensive batteries in power output, and possibly at less cost. We'll keep our ears and eyes open for more capacitor news, and we'll be sure to pass it along.

[Source: Science Daily, thanks to Matt for the tip]

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