Scientists at Rice University designed a boric acid-infused graphene microsupercapacitor with quadrupled ability to store an electrical charge, while greatly boosting its energy density. This design may see potential applications in wearable electronics, as well as many other flexible electronics uses.
The scientists used commercial lasers to create thin, flexible supercapacitors by burning patterns into common polymers. The laser burns away everything except for the carbon, to a depth of 20 microns on the top layer, which becomes a foam-like matrix of interconnected graphene flakes. They found that first infusing the polymer with boric acid, resulted in major performance advantages.
Sunvault Energy, along with Edison Power, announced the creation of the world's largest 10,000 Farad Graphene Supercapacitor. The companies declared that this development is the most significant breakthrough in the development of Graphene Supercapacitors to date.
Sunvault's CEO says that the technology can be defined as a hybrid, bringing the power density associated with a battery together with the high impact fast charging known to capacitors. He claims that at 10,000 Farads, a Graphene Supercapacitor is powerful enough to power up a Semi Truck while being the size of a paperback novel. the companies are focused on developing their technology and shrinking the size of the unit in the near future.
Skeleton Technologies is a European company with HQ in Germany and R&D in Estonia, that develops and manufactures supercapacitors. The company has devised a unique process to produce "curved graphene" from silicon carbide, which it uses in their line of commercially available supercapacitors called "SkelCap". The company states that their products deliver twice as much energy storage capacity and five times higher power performance compared to other ultracapacitors. The high degree of purity of curved graphene also ensures up to two times higher current tolerance, and four times lower resistance.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently chosen the company's products for use in spacecrafts, possibly by 2018. ESA representatives say this technology has the potential to increase mission safety while reducing mission costs. Skeleton Technologies’ SpaceCap cells will allow the packaging of a large amount of power into a very small space, creating opportunities for new applications.
Researchers at the University of Guangzhou, China, managed to improve the capacitance of supercapacitors by nearly 1000-fold compared with that of the laminated or wrinkled CVD graphene-film-based supercapacitors. To achieve this, the researchers integrated transparency into freestanding, flexible graphene paper (FFT-GP). These supercapacitors's capacitance is also about ten times better than previously reported values for transparent and flexible supercapacitors based on pure carbon materials. However, some carbon-based nontransparent supercapacitors still perform better than the FFT-GP-based transparent supercapacitor.
The improved performance is mainly based on the prism-like graphene building blocks that the FFT-GP is made of. The hollow structures of the graphene that give the material its transparency also provide additional space for chemical reactions to occur compared to other materials. Also, the aligned and interconnected prism-like structures provide a wide open path for ions and electrons to travel along and the good charge transport leads to an overall better performance.
Researchers at the University of Illinois designed a single-step method of creating textures in graphene ("crumpling") to allow for larger surface areas, thus tapping into graphene's benefits for electronics. The scientists believe that "crumpled" graphene may also be used as high surface area electrodes for batteries and supercapacitors. As a coating layer, the 3D graphene could allow omniphobic/anti-bacterial surfaces for advanced coating applications.
The "crumpling" process is based on a known shape-memory polymer substrate (a material capable of returning to its original shape after being distorted, mostly by thermal means). The thermoplastic nature of the substrate also allows for the “crumpled” graphene morphology to be arbitrarily re-flattened at the same elevated temperature for the “crumpling” process.
Sunvault Energy announced signing a letter of intent with U.S-based Edison Power Company to retail power within de-regulated power markets. The first market as part of the roll out strategy is planned to be the Alberta market, followed by other similar markets and markets that have time of use pricing.
Sunvault will be working closely with Edison to launch a new power retail program that will be unique in its approach and will benefit Alberta consumers greatly. Sunvault will work through its incubation company, Aboriginal Power Corp, for power sales within First Nations territories. Sunvault aims to supply Alberta with "green" energy using its graphene supercapacitor technology and e future to spread out to aditional areas. The company's services are planned to cost less than existing market providers, while offering the same kind of Green benefit to consumers.
Sunvault's graphene-based supercapacitor declared to someday replace Lithium-ion batteries and compete with Tesla's battery aspirations
Representatives of The Canadian Sunvault recently attended the Wall Street Conference in Florida where they presented a 1000 farad graphene supercapacitor. This is claimed by the company to be the largest graphene supercapacitor developed to date and a technology that will in the future compete with, if not potentially replace, the lithium battery.
The company's CEO was also quoted at the conference: "Currently the cost to manufacture a lithium battery is about $500 (USD) per/ kWh. Tesla recently announced a Super Factory to be built in Nevada, with a promise to get the price of lithium batteries down to $150 USD per kWh by 2020, our current cost estimated for this type of graphene base supercapacitor is about $100 per kWh today and we feel confident we should be able to cut this pricing in half by the end of 2015".