The super supercapacitor

The super supercapacitor

What do you guys think?

cprenzl | 20 December 2012

That is simply amazing, Tesla needs to drop lithium and grab that guy!!

Carefree | 20 December 2012

Wouldn't that be great! Charge your car in one minute!

lph | 20 December 2012

And watch the lights go out in the neighborhood!

Desai | 20 December 2012

I hope this can be brought into production soon!

Sudre_ | 20 December 2012

Is there any real info on this or just the video. I've Googled it a bit but I keep coming up with the video. A lot more info is needed than just lighting up an LED that probably draws a milliwatt.

MB3 | 20 December 2012

there are probably hundreds of links. Here is one from 2010.

Desai | 20 December 2012

Thanks @MB3!

lph | 20 December 2012

Although it is a big step in the right direction, 136w/kg is only just over half the energy density of current batteries used in the Tesla.
Based on the article that MB3 (thanks!) provided, I don't think it is viable yet... maybe when they achieve 400w/kg it will stand a chance against Li batteries of the near future.
The quick charge capacity is nice to have though.. but that will lead to new problems with providing buffer storage at the "refuel" stations because they won't be able to dump that sort of power from the grid. Super fast charging would cause problems with stressing the local grids. However these are not insurmountable problems, they just cost more.
Not sure if I like the idea of people saying when the lights go out in the neighborhood "Oh it is another Tesla loading up";-)

johnchamplinhall1 | 20 December 2012

Hey you guys, I've spent fourty years developing energy storage devices. This kind of crap comes along all the time. Just remember what a director of engineering at Mercedes Benz said "There are liars, dammned liars and battery engineers".

The Panasonic cells is a proven product with and energy density or >250 Wh/kg. In other words, even if true for equal range the capacitor would add atbout 400 kg of mass.

lph | 20 December 2012

Yes, is agree there is a lot is crap out there and this is likely just another, remember EESTOR? All promises and no product. There are many others. So to be skeptical is prudent, particularly as this is emerging technology and there are going to be many more failures than successes. However most will contribute in some way to the knowledge base that others can use.
I could not help but notice in one of Elon's speeches where he indicated that Ultra capacitors is an area he is excited about. Maybe he knows something that we don't (likely).
Hopefully one day the real deal will come along. And when it does, I hope to be open minded enough to see it for what it is.

Brian H | 21 December 2012

Current charge cables would vapourize ...

Timo | 21 December 2012

I don't care if those graphite things actually would become good source of power and energy: good if they do, but batteries are enough.

However, if you can make mass-production of that material cheap you could replace all the WIRING with graphite and then you get extremely abundant, lighter and stronger material with lower resistance than anything else (barring superconductors). Think what that would make to car weight and what the impact would be for electric motors. Copper is relatively expensive and heavy and anything that is even better is even more expensive.

Graphite could be used as structural materials too (it's really tough).

dborn | 21 December 2012

Has anyone looked at the Tadiran batteries? They are lithium, they are in production, and some of them are very high energy density. They are military grade, and probably too costly, but they seem to be better than the Panasonics. Mind you, Tadiran has not invested in Tesla as far as I know...

Jolinar | 21 December 2012

nice to see some progess in capacitor field, however 130Wh/kg is really not much in compare to batteries... BUT... if it would be possible to make it cheaper ($/kWh) than batteries, well, that could change a lot of things :)

Desai | 21 December 2012

Really great feedback in this thread. I just wanted to put this video that I came across which intrigued me. Look forward to more innovations. As few noted above - there are a lot of "crap" out there but having a environmentally friendly way of storing and charging quickly seemed very interesting.

July10Models | 21 December 2012

Capacitors can be used within the superchargers to smooth out the draw from the grid. 130Wh/kg is plenty of charge density for static storage. If they can be made cheap enough, they can be paired with solar PV, or wind Gen.

Sudre_ | 21 December 2012

That was my thought July. These things might be good, if cheap, at the supercharger locations. If there ever comes a time when they are in the cars you could avoid the lights out situation by having them in the chargers too.

dtesla | 21 December 2012

One problem with super capacitors (as with all capacitors) is over time they leak power way faster then batteries. They are getting better and someday may be good enough to replace batteries... but today I think Tesla is using the best solution. Of course they don't have the secondary reaction problems that new positional battery chemistry have (but that's another thread).

shs | 21 December 2012

I have read the some BEVs use both batteries and super capacitors, the latter presumably to quickly absorb the energy from regenerative braking.

Nicu.Mihalache | 21 December 2012

@ Brian H
I am not a native speaker, but wouldn't that be "vaporize" instead of "vapourize" ?

nwdiver93 | 21 December 2012

I think it would be awesome if Tesla made a "hybrid" EV with batteries and capacitors. Since HP in EVs is limited most by the battery perhaps we could get a P40 or a P85 with even better performance!

EcLectric | 21 December 2012

From what I have read from owners, the performance limit for Model S is the tires! If you want better performance, you really need better tires or a lighter battery. Since super caps are relatively heavy, they don't help the performance.

EcLectric | 21 December 2012

I would like to suggest where super caps might be useful: replacing batteries in a series hybrid. The car would run on some liquid fuel or natural gas and would involve an ICE or turbine running optimally to generate electricity to charge the caps. The caps would provide the electricity to drive the electric motor. This is similar to the way diesel-electric trains work now, but I don't believe trains store the electricity at all - they go directly from diesel fuel --> motion --> generator --> motor --> motion. Sort of an electric transmission. The possible advantages:

- fuel with high energy density (long range, light)
- engine operates efficiently because it just drives a generator
- caps provide high power density (performance)
- low mechanical transmission losses (single speed)

But this is not amTesla thing. It depends on fuel.

Mocaptain | 21 December 2012

Now if it only didnt cost a fortune to produce in mass quanities. How about paying 2x-3x for a super capacitor pack for your car. There are really smart people at MIT among other places working on the energy problem from a technology / cost efficency perspective. Cool video but it needs to be cost effective.

esaggese | 20 February 2013

IF this works, it would have a great application within a tesla. Replace 10% of the pack with one of these (losing maybe 5% of the total capacity). What you get in return is much better regenerative braking efficiency, more than offsetting the net energy loss (by my rough calculations, gaining about 30-50% city range, and likely maintaining or even slightly improving highway range), and you gain massive amounts of power, only limited by electronics and motors (e.g. a Dual Motor Model X could easily be a 3.0 second 0-60 car with a range similar to the one in the Model S with a similarly sized pack).
Now, that is IF it works as described and the cost is reasonable at those sizes.

Brian H | 20 February 2013

Sounds a lot like the GenIII Roadster!

Benz | 20 February 2013

New materials (Graphene) will provide for new options that engineers can use to manufacture better things. These options just have to be discovered yet, and that is a matter of time.

jk2014 | 20 February 2013

Should call it the "epicly epic super superconductor" in order to differentiate itself from all the other everyday super materials...

Brian H | 20 February 2013

Room temperature superconductors is an empty set.