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Now here's a claim: EVs fully charged 'in seconds'

Discussion in 'Technical' started by voyager, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Super capacitors will replace batteries in electric vehicles, allowing them to be charged in a matter of seconds, according to a research group working with the University of Surrey and University of Bristol. The group claims to have reached a breakthrough in its research into EV batteries and says supercapacitors are proven to be between 1000 and 10,000 times more powerful than equivalent batteries.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk has already backed supercapacitors but said “we need a breakthrough in energy density” on his social media accounts. The research group suggests that this may be the breakthrough Musk was referring to.

    EVs could be fully charged 'in seconds' following supercapacitor revolution | Autocar
     
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  2. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I have no doubt that Supercapacitors, or the postulated Supercabattery will someday have higher energy density, cost efficiency and simpler operating limits than will any form of traditional battery, including li-based batteries. The question is how soon, not whether. Even so, the idea of "...charging in seconds..." or anything remotely like that, presumes infrastructure and charging technologies that, from all that I have read, do not exist and are not even reasonably postulated.

    The Wiki on Supercapacitors is quite instructive for those offs who are not equipped with deep technical understanding

    Supercapacitor - Wikipedia

    As usual the extremely complex and costly state-of-the-art capabilities are not anywhere close to being commercially viable. As always, there is no realistic short term prospects for dramatic, economical improvements in energy density, nor for recharging speeds. Truthfully, physics does impose considerable restrictions to recharging speeds. So I expect to see dramatic improvements within my lifetime, but not necessarily while I am still an active driver.:(

    Despite all that I really want my Model 3's on order to have storage of roughly 200 kWh. I do remember:

     
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  3. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    200kWh in seconds is multiple megawatts of power.
    Battery, supercapacitor, battacitor, supercattery, it does not matter.

    Batteries are already good enough.
    They are a bit on the pricey side and there is huge shortage of them.
    Stop wasting time and spreading FUD about some future magical improvements and start building what already works now.
     
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  4. voyager

    voyager Member

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    I'd be curious to see how much weight savings it may yield. Tesla S carries a 500 kg battery pack.
     
  5. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    This is recharging method that will be used*:

    lightning.jpg

    *using lightning strikes to recharge your EV will void your warranty. Please consult your owner's manual.
     
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  6. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    The "charge in seconds" claim seems to me to be another one of those attention-grabbing headlines made by people who are not well trained in physics or electrical engineering. Even supposing that you have a large, dedicated power substation to pull from, you will always be limited by the capacity of the cabling to it, as well as heat removal during charging. Conductors always have some resistance which will create heat which is related to the square of the current... so heat management will always be an issue.

    OK, I guess someone will tell me about a superconducting supercharger, with the cables cooled by liquid helium, that Elon said something about in a Tweet. I'm anxious to see that!
     
  7. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    My car charges in seconds too (about 1,200 of them at a supercharger stop)
     
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  8. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    "Hope to have a working prototype..."
     
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  9. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Could not the charging station also have a Supercapacitor? So it can change gently, from the grid, and discharge rapidly [in order to recharge a car]? Of course the number of customers that can be serviced continuously is limited ...

    Dunno if relevant but there is a car in the UK, "Riversimple", (maybe part of a collaboration with the universities mentioned in the O/P?) that uses capacitors (mainly to store the maximum amount of energy possible from Regen, and to augment acceleration, it has A.N.Other means of cruising at highway speed [hint: I doubt you will like it!])

     
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  10. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Yes, theoretically the fastest charging may well use such means. Already supercapacitors are deployed, as in Riversimple for regeneration from deceleration for assistance with acceleration. If I recall correctly those in use are almost entirely in heavy vehicles. (I should have looked it up, but I'm a bit short of time right now)
     
  11. thegruf

    thegruf Active Member

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    try
    December: Super-capacitors | News | University of Bristol
    instead of crappy car mag report.

    This actually might be one that Elon will be keeping an eye on.
    Durability and safety will be amongst the questions that needs to be asked of this tech but it does seem to be a genuine advance in this field.
     
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  12. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    What, no numbers?
     
  13. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    He was studying them before Tesla was in existence, and back in 2011 predicted that they'd probably be the eventual breakthrough:
    Elon Musk Says Super-Capacitors Not Batteries, Will Be Breakthrough For EVs
     
  14. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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  15. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    My car charges in 30 seconds of my time. 15 seconds to plug it in at night, and 15 seconds to unplug in the morning.
     
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  16. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    You want ultracapacitors and you think the vampire drain is bad now... haha just wait.

    The density is simply not there for ultracapacitors at the moment. A technology you might find a lot sooner and one that Tesla has a patent on is the use of metal-air batteries as a backup to the Li-Ion battery for long range use.
     
  17. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    IIRC, the greatest problem with capacitor storage on passenger cars is the nature of capacitors and the nature of chemical batteries.

    Capacitors storage holds a charge based on difference of potential energy, you could think of it as voltage.
    Batteries store power as charged ions with a fixed chemical voltage, but variation in the number of ions, which you could think of as amps.

    So as you drive your capacitormobile, you lose voltage directly. 1/2 a charge is 1/2 voltage. 1/4 charge is 1/4 voltage. This means if you want a car that has 200HP at 1/4 charge, you need a capacitor large enough to serve 800HP.

    While a chemical battery does have that same trait, it's non-linear, almost flat. 1/2 a charge is like 90% of full power. 1/4 charge is like 85%. So for a 200HP car, you can use a 250HP battery.

    AFAIK, that is not a problem that can be fixed any more than you could stop watts from being volts x amps.
     
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  18. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    That is why various hybrids are being planned now. No single technology is likely to solve all the issues we have.

    Anyway, is it not astounding how much progress has already happened, while remaining with the tested li-ion, in myriad chemistries, formats and materials.
     
  19. emir-t

    emir-t Member

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    I'm not an engineer nor do I claim to know a lot about supercapacitors but as far as my understanding of them goes would it make sense to use them as the charging part of a battery within the vehicle?

    Right now our problem is the taper. We can pump 120kW into the batteries with current supercharger tech for a limited time. After that the taper kicks in for two reasons;

    - Heat
    - Battery voltage gets high enough (4.2V per cell) that you need to start tapering in order to prevent overcharge.

    Heating is being solved with every iteration of pack as P100D showed us. Couldn't super capacitors of some capacity (20% of battery's capacity) be installed into the car? My imagination is as follows; (all numbers figuratively speaking)

    - You plug in with an empty 120kWh pack. Start drawing 120kW. After 40 minutes you are 65% full and your taper is supposed o kick in.
    - Instead the power is diverted into capacitors and they're charged up, even faster, in seconds. (24kWh)
    - You drive away and the capacitors start bleeding off their charge slowly to charge the batteries. So while you drive, park somewhere etc. batteries get that extra 20% juice at a comfortable rate.

    Could this be possible? Seems very reasonable to my 'research only' point of view.
     
  20. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Engineering is the art of successfully navigating tradeoffs.

    What you describe is certainly possible, and could conceivably work as described.

    To make it work, you need a high capacity (40 kW? 50 kW?) DC-DC converter to connect the inherently highly variable voltage of the supercapacitor with the relatively stable battery voltage. It also gives you the benefit of having full regen under all operating conditions (assuming the supercap isn't full, which it likely wouldn't be while in motion) and a more stable battery voltage.

    The question is: How much more does the supercap and DC-DC converter system cost? how much does it weigh? How much space does it take? Are there additional safety implications to having a capacitor full of large amounts of high voltage energy onboard?

    Do the features it offers you make the car enough better to justify the cost and weight?

    I haven't done enough research to have a handle on the cost or weight/space impacts. As bigger packs continue to come along, you have both more range and faster charging simply because the pack is larger (within the capacity of the DCFC source, of course) - somewhere you'll cross a line where you're never waiting for the car with conventional technology. In a lot of cases Tesla is pretty much there already.
     

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