Scientists are always working towards improving technology such that it makes our lives easier. Now, researchers at Superdielectrics Ltd are claiming that they’ve come across a material that can make a supercapacitor hold charge for longer while still charging up relatively instantaneously.
But first, what is a supercapacitor and why do we care about it rather than Li-ion batteries? Supercapacitors are a type of power-storage device that can charge up instantaneously and also offload their power quickly.
While that particular property of supercapacitors makes them suitable for use in places where a sudden burst of power is required, such as accelerating a train or in certain power tools, they’ll be rather uneconomical if used in something like an electric car because they’ll require charging every few miles.
According to the researchers, the new material they’ve discovered will make these supercapacitors charge up very quickly, but at the same time, hold a charge for significantly longer than what supercapacitors can currently do. Dr. DWonald Highgate says that a material that he originally created for use in soft contact lenses is apparently surprisingly good at retaining a charge.
He is now trying to get supercapacitor makers to build supercapacitors with the polymer he created for contact lenses in the hope that they’ll be able to hold charge much better than conventional supercapacitors, and catch up with, or even beat Li-ion batteries. All that’s needed for this to happen is for the supercapacitors made with the new polymer to perform well enough at a large scale.
This is all just research and experiments right now and we can’t affix a timeline to the development of these new types of supercapacitors. However, here’s hoping we gWet a new kind of battery technology soon… one that’s safer and charges faster than the conventional Li-ion batteries we have right now.