Far East Capital Newsletter
Looking beyond batteries to something much more elegant - supercapacitors and why they could be much better
3 Dec 2016

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Weekly Commentary

Looking beyond batteries to something much more elegant - supercapacitors and why they could be much better

Supercapacitors are different to batteries because they rely on physics to store and discharge electricity. They avoid the chemical problems but how "super" are they really. So far they have had a limited appeal because they have trouble achieving sufficient energy density. They charge up very quickly but equally they discharge very quickly due to their configuration and storage of energy along planes.

There is ongoing research that has recently been very successful in overcoming the problem of energy density limitations by dramatically expanding the surface area on which to store the ions. The scientists involved believe they have the game changing technology to make supercapacitor "batteries" much better that conventional chemical batteries. They will recharge in less than 10% of the time it takes to charge lithium-ion batteries. They will hold a much larger charge and have a much longer life on each charge. Rather than being suitable for 1,000 cycles they could easily last 10,000 or even 100,000 cycles because there is no chemical reaction that degrades the components. As there are no chemicals they are infinitely more environmentally friendly. 

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