Meet the scientific accident that could change the world:


The Super Supercapacitor | Brian Golden Davis from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Ric Kaner set out to find a new way to make graphene, the thinnest and strongest material on earth. What he found was a new way to power the world.

THE SUPER SUPERCAPACITOR is a Finalist in the $200,000 GE FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition. Learn more about the Competition and FOCUS FORWARD at focusforwardfilms.com

Category: Energy, Science, Technology, Video

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15 Responses to “The Super Supercapacitor”

  1. RW says:

    Wow!

    Damn I love science!

  2. Theravadin says:

    I love how they are making it. I always knew that despite iTunes, the CD player wasn’t obsolete yet!

  3. wally says:

    I’ve seen a lot – and I mean a LOT – claims in the last 5 or 6 years for super batteries and super capacitors. However, I haven’t seen one of them actually get marketed as a real, usable product.
    Is this the one? Who knows.

  4. S Brennan says:

    Great stuff Barry, I have always thought there had to be a way to make a capacitor able to store charge over a long period…this is great news…and yeah, this is why we need not for [immediate] profit research.

  5. BenE says:

    I wish people would stop posting that link. Conspicuously missing in the video is any mention of energy density. “Power density” is just how fast the device can charge or discharge and is almost never a limiting factor with today’s technology.

    If you read the paper about these new supercapacitor you will see that they carry about 1% of the charge of lithium-ion batteries. Even if this is better than the current crop of ultracapacitors, they will only give your phone, laptop or car 1% or 2% of the battery life that you can get today. Who would want that?

    • raholco says:

      Agreed. This may help in some manufacturing processes where current large-sized capacitors can be replaced with small super capacitors (think power supplies), but I have yet to see a super capacitor replace a storage battery in any large-scale production.

    • momus says:

      ~200 W/cm^3 sounds like a power density to me.

      • BenE says:

        Power density is not equal energy density. As I said, power density is just how fast the device can charge and discharge. It’s always very high with capacitors so there is no point in trying to optimize that variable.

  6. DeDude says:

    This is a very important step towards the off the grid suburbs. Efficient solar panels covering your roof. Battery storage of excess energy and for re-charging your electric car. No more gas stations, no more power company monthly bills or electric lines to every house. Everybody just directly harvest all the energy for their daily life from the sun.

  7. dream-king says:

    These micro-supercapacitors demonstrate a power density of ~200 W cm−3. It’s still about 1/100th the energy density of commercial lithium ion batteries, but that’s based on volume not weight. This is a great step. It’s bendable, twistable even. A car’s shell, were it to be made with a layer of graphene, could -be- the gas tank.

    And remember, supercapacitors ‘charge’ in seconds and don’t degrade like batteries. Throw in regenerative braking, and you could have a crazy-efficient vehicle.

  8. formerlawyer says:

    Perhaps this could fit into the mix, a cheap electrolitic process to store hydrogen and recover when demanded through a fuel cell.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/28/fuel-cell-breakthrough-university-of-calgary_n_2973039.html

    • DeDude says:

      Absolutely a game changer for fuel cells. I would not be surprised if ordinary households would become energy independent when this gets turned into commercial products. We are pretty much there with the solar energy production (just need another 2-4 fold improvement). The issue is intermittent energy storage to compensate for misalignment between peak times for production and use.

  9. murrayv says:

    If a capacitor with the surface area of a CD will light an LED for 5 minutes, and the capacitor can be stacked at 20 layers per inch, I think you can run a 100 HP motor for 5 hours on 1 cu ft. Hope I didn’t lose a decimal in there somewhere. If this is right the term super supercapacitor really applies. Murray

    • Simon says:

      Is it possible that heat is not such an issue with super capacitors? If not then this is even more of a game changer.

  10. Frwip says:

    All those stories and the enthusiasm around them always reminds me a bit of EEStor.

    Here, at least, Richard B. Kaner is a legit scientist (and a very good science communicator). And the graphene supercap actually exists as does the photo deposition process invented by Maher El-Kady.

    For more information : http://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=50784

    Very cool stuff, but to all on this, curb your enthusiasm. It’s many, many years to applications.