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Supercapacitor in Body Panels Boost Power in Electric Cars

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A car powered by its own body panels could soon be driving on our roads after researchers at Queensland University of Technology developed lightweight "supercapacitors" that can be combined with regular batteries to dramatically boost the power of an electric car.

The supercapacitors – a "sandwich" of electrolyte between two all-carbon electrodes – were made into a thin but extremely strong film with a high power density (ability to release power quickly). The film could be embedded in a car's body panels, roof, doors, bonnet and floor, storing enough energy to turbocharge an electric car's battery in just a few minutes.

PhD researcher Marco Notarianni said that the findings, published in both the Journal of Power Sources and the journal Nanotechnology, mean that a car partly powered by its own body panels could be on the road within 5 years.

"Vehicles need an extra energy spurt for acceleration, and this is where supercapacitors come in,” he said. “They hold a limited amount of charge, but they are able to deliver it very quickly, making them the perfect complement to mass-storage batteries.

“Supercapacitors offer a high-power output in a short time, meaning a faster acceleration rate of the car and a charging time of just a few minutes, compared to several hours for a standard electric car battery."

Team member Dr Jinzhang Liu said...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.