The UltraCapacitor Future

Posted 5 Nov 2007 at 15:07 UTC by Rog-a-matic Share This

Ultracapacitors built with a forest of carbon nanotubes hold promise of replacing conventional batteries according to a recent article at IEEE Spectrum which describes the current state of research. Ultracapacitors can be charged very quickly, discharge an incredible amount of current quickly, and can endure more charge/discharge cycles than today's batteries - and they weigh less too. All this adds up to massive changes for the future of portable devices such as cell phones, flashlights, and even electric cars and mobile robots. Current ultracapacitor technology can only store about 5% of the total energy as a typical lithium-ion battery of similar size, but the gap is narrowing as production methods and materials improve.

UltraCaps are cool, posted 5 Nov 2007 at 15:57 UTC by steve » (Master)

I've got several Maxell 350F ultracaps. They're the same form factor as a standard D cell battery, so you can just drop them into D cell battery holders on a robot. You have to get used to the weird voltage curve compared to batteries but even the small (relative to a battery) energy storage of a 350F cap can be pretty useful for a small robot. Add some solar panels and you've got a self-charging robot.

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