Supercapacitors have a much higher power density than a conventional battery and when used in combination with a battery and power management system they can be used to create a highly efficient and versatile power source. They have an important role in electric vehicle technology but they can also be used to great effect in conventional and hybrid vehicles for regenerative braking and for powering a wide range of subsystems.
In automotive applications the main requirements placed upon the supercapacitor are:
- High power density
- High discharge rate
- Wide temperature range
These requirements call for a very low impedance device.
This can be achieved by the use of advanced materials and meticulous attention to all aspects of the design.
The proposed development uses new conducting polymer technology in combination with thin layer techniques to create a supercapacitor which is targeted at the immediate needs of the automotive industry. The main advantages of using supercapacitor technology are as follows:
- Improved electrical systems with the capability to deliver high peak powers.
- A reduction in the battery size and overall weight of the system.
- Extended battery life under adverse load conditions.
- Improved efficiency and operating range of electric vehicles.
- Improved fuel consumption of conventional and hybrid vehicles.
- Improved electrical subsystems for automotive applications e.g. catalytic converters.
With the development of more advanced forms of electric vehicle, supercapacitors will certainly play an important part in meeting the aims and objectives of the Task Force "Car of Tomorrow". In addition the technology can be applied to many other industrial areas.
The proposal addresses the following areas of the IMT (JOULE) work programme:2.4.A.2.3 .1 and 2.4.A.2.3 .3 .
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
NR31 0HB Great Yarmouth
SO17 1BJ Southampton