Stories tagged capacitors

Oct
24
2009

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Buses can recharge at every stop

Como Park will have 3 or 4 circulating shuttle buses next year to help solve the traffic and parking problem at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. They will allow free and easy parking by the State Fair grounds and within 7 minutes, will drop you off at the front door.

Como Shuttles should use ultracapacitors

Ultracapacitor buses have low maintenance cost, low operation cost, zero tailpipe emission, and can reach a zero carbon footprint if powered by renewable energy sources.
The estimated savings in energy costs over the 12 year life of the bus (at current electric and oil prices) is $200,000.

Why ultracapacitors are perfect for short bus loops

Ultracapacitors will only power a bus for 5-10 blocks, then need about 3 minutes to recharge. Only two recharge stations would be needed, one at the parking lot and one a the conservatory drop off. The bus recharges while passengers load and unload. Capacitors do not wear out like batteries. A capacitor bus is 40 per cent cheaper to build than a battery powered bus. Because the buses can use regenerative braking, they use 40 percent less electricity than an electric trolley using over head wires.

Source: Next Stop: Ultracapacitor Buses;Technology Review
Sinautec Automobile Technologies, L.L.C.

Nov
08
2007

We couldn’t get the rights to a photo of a nano-ultra-capacitor, so here’s a picture of some cute baby ducks.: Photo by Mattay from Flickr.com
We couldn’t get the rights to a photo of a nano-ultra-capacitor, so here’s a picture of some cute baby ducks.: Photo by Mattay from Flickr.com

Many devices need to use stored energy. The most common storage devices are batteries and capacitors.

Batteries produce energy through chemical reactions in their mass, and release it at a slow and steady rate. Batteries can store a lot of energy, but they’re difficult to recharge.

Capacitors store energy on their surface, release it all in a burst, and then can be easily recharged. Many devices use capacitors – cellphones, computer memory, even some trucks and buses. But the amount of energy capacitors can store is limited – only one-millionth the power in a battery of the same size.

But perhaps not for long. A team of researchers at MIT is using nanotechnology to improve the storage capacity of capacitors. Working with materials just a few atoms thick, they can build very complicated shapes with lots of surface area to hold electrical charge. Test show these devices can hold up to 50% of the energy a battery holds, and yet still maintain the advantages of quick release and easy recharge. The researchers predict this next generation of capacitors could someday help power electric cars or store energy from renewable sources.

Feb
05
2007

Batteries recalled

Ultracapacitors to replace batteries
Ultracapacitors to replace batteries
Batteries start fires. Batteries pollute. Batteries wear out. Batteries can leak acid. What the world needs is a better way to store electic energy. The people who invested in Google, Amazon, and AOL are now putting their money in ultracapacitors.

New ultracapacitors can replace batteries

If a new company called EEStor delivers on its promises, storing electric power in what it calls ultracapacitors will change the world.

Among EEStor's claims is that its "electrical energy storage unit" (EESU) could pack nearly 10 times the energy punch of a lead-acid battery of similar weight and, under mass production, would cost half as much.
It also says its technology more than doubles the energy density of lithium-ion batteries in most portable computer and mobile gadgets today, but could be produced at one-eighth the cost. TreeHugger

EEStore has contracted to deliver its first EESUs to ZENN Motor Company in 2007 to use in their electric vehicles. It also has patented "Electrical-energy-storage unit (EESU) utilizing ceramic and integrated-circuit technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries."

What is an ultracapacitor and how does it work?

According to Clean Break via The Energy Blog

  • It is a parallel plate capacitor with barium titanate as the dielectric.
  • It claims that it can make a battery at half the cost per kilowatt-hour and one-tenth the weight of lead-acid batteries.
  • As of last year selling price would start at $3,200 and fall to $2,100 in high-volume production
  • The product weighs 400 pounds and delivers 52 kilowatt-hours.
  • The batteries fully charge in minutes as opposed to hours.
  • The EEStor technology has been tested up to a million cycles with no material degradation compared to lead acid batteries that optimistically have 500 to 700 recharge cycles,
  • Because it's a solid state battery rather than a chemical battery, such being the case for lithium ion technology, there would be no overheating and thus safety concerns with using it in a vehicle.

A capacitor is like a grilled cheese sandwich. The electrical energy is stored in the bread slices. The cheese needs to prevent the stored electricity from leaking across to the other side. In ultracapacitors the pressure will be over a thousand volts. The company that can solve ultracapacitor size, weight, leakage, cost, and safety issues will have the "holy grail" of electric storage.