Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Graphene Supercapacitors Outstrip Power Density of Lithium Ion Batteries

The biggest problem right now with battery technology (besides the limited power density) is its lengthy charging time and its instability when charged incorrectly. Supercapacitors, on the other hand, charge very rapidly (in under a minute). The hang-up with supercapacitors or ultracapacitors is that their power density (around 20 watt-hours per kilogram) is only 1/7th of the energy per kilogram of lithium-ion batteries.

A team of UCLA researchers have recently developed a new supercapacitor electrode with a graphene monolayer that have a power density of over 600 watt-hours per kilogram or 4 times that of lithium-ion batteries. Granted, this has only been validated in a laboratory environment, but the evidence remains that the technology is out there that allows supercapacitors to rival the performance of our current, best battery technology that is commercially available. This bodes very well for the future of the electric transportation infrastructure.

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