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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Hybrid supercapacitor offers NiMH energy density, charges much faster

•, By Loz Blain

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have added another hybrid supercapacitor design to the mix, promising the near-instant charge and discharge of a supercap with vastly improved energy storage on par with NiMH batteries.

The key concepts to understand here are energy density (Wh/kg), referring to the total amount of energy a device can store per weight, and power density (W/kg), referring to how quickly the device can move power in and out while charging and discharging.

Lithium batteries store energy in a chemical form, and are widely used because they offer a relatively high energy density, but as anyone who owns a smartphone or electric car knows, they charge fairly slowly. Supercapacitors, on the other hand, store energy statically rather than in a chemical form, meaning they can charge and discharge much, much faster without degrading their internal structures.