The gadget is called a ultra capacity supercapacitor and it is said to be 10,000 times more powerful than the existing battery alternative. Scientists claim the advancement will allow mobile phone users to charge handsets in seconds and could make petrol powered cars redundant within decades.
Researchers from University of Surrey, University of Bristol and Augmented Optics Ltd joined forces to develop the futuristic technology. Dr Brendan Howlin, who worked on the futuristic project, said:
“There is a global search for new energy storage technology and this new ultra capacity supercapacitor has the potential to open the door to unimaginably exciting developments.”
Batteries in hundreds of everyday appliances would be rendered useless if the supercapacitors are rolled out into mass production. Electric cars could also supersede petrol-powered cars as recharging batteries would take as long as filling up at the pump.
Supercapacitor buses called Capabus are already being used in China. Currently buses have to recharge every 2-3 stops due to their inefficiency. But the new technology would allow them to recharge within seconds every 20-30 stops.
Supercapacitors have long been hailed as the future of battery power.
Even Elon Musk, of Tesla and SpaceX, has previously stated his belief that supercapacitors are likely to be the technology for future electric air transportation. Yet their poor energy density – one twentieth of existing batteries – has hamstrung the technology. But now the new and improved supercapacitors could be the scientific advance needed to change the lives of millions of ordinary people.
Dr Ian Hamerton, of University of Bristol, said
“While this research has potentially opened the route to very high density supercapacitors, these polymers have many other possible uses in which tough, flexible conducting materials are desirable, including bioelectronics, sensors, wearable electronics, and advanced optics.”
“We believe that this is an extremely exciting and potentially game changing development.”
About Augmented Optics Ltd/Supercapacitor Materials Ltd:
Augmented Optics Ltd was incorporated three years ago to research and develop new electronically conducting polymers. The company has commissioned research at the University of Surrey and an evaluation programme at the University of Bristol that has generated important new materials with potentially valuable commercial properties. It was founded by Dr Donald Highgate, Jim Heathcote and Nigel Spence. Dr Highgate and Jim Heathcote have worked together on advanced polymers and energy technology for 15 years. The company has been funded by a number of investors expert in the support and exploitation of new technologies.
In light of the recent discovery of ‘high capacitance’ polymers that may be ready for immediate commercialisation a wholly owned subsidiary Supercapacitor Materials Ltd was registered and has the website www.Supercapacitormaterials.com