Can This New Technology Make Batteries Obsolete?



welcome to another two-bit DaVinci video thanks for all of you who voted in our last poll and for any of our new viewers consider subscribing and take part in deciding our future videos today we're talking about super capacitors or ultra capacitors and how they might play a key role in the future of clean energy and transportation if we want to have a truly clean energy future we need to both generate electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar and find new ways of storing that energy in a previous video we talked about hydrogen as a large-scale energy storage solution as well as large lithium ion battery systems now let's see how ultra capacitors can be another energy storage option first let's talk about how capacitors work and some of the key benefits and disadvantages capacitors build a charge using electrostatic energy rather like the shock you get after walking on carpet and touching a doorknob this differs from a battery in which an electrochemical reaction takes place over a much longer period of time a capacitor can be as simple as two metal plates separated by a dielectric material or an insulator an electric charge starts to form on one side of the plate which induces an electric field causing the opposite charge to build on the other plate the primary unit of measure of a capacitor is capacitance measured in farad's so a 1 farad capacitor if charged with one Coulomb of charge would have a potential difference of one volt between its plates a 1 farad capacitor would be really big and most applications will typically deal with micro farad's or pico farads you could make a capacitor by simply taking two pieces of aluminum foil and placing them as close together as possible without touching this is called the parallel plate capacitor and the equation for determining its capacitance is as follows in this equation epsilon naught is the permittivity of space a constant while K is the relative permittivity of the dielectric material the K value for air is approximately 1 now the important aspects are a the surface area of the plates and D the distance between them a being in the numerator needs to be maximized while D in the denominator needs to be minimized this makes sense if we maximize the size of our aluminum foil we're going to have a larger area and a larger capacitance similarly if we bring the two plates of our capacitor as close together as possible minimizing D we will also increase the capacitance of our aluminum foil plate capacitor the attribute the capacitors are most known for is power density not energy density but power density to understand the difference between power and energy let's imagine we have two cars one car has a small engine capable of propelling the car at 50 miles an hour the second car is identical except it has an engine capable of a hundred miles an hour the same amount of energy is required to drive both cars a hundred miles but because the second car is able to make the trip in half the time it has twice the power so power is the rate of producing or consuming energy this is where capacitors shine because they can charge and discharge almost instantly now this all sounds great but there are a few problems the energy density of capacitors is relatively small compared to lithium-ion batteries batteries like the ones found in Tesla's Model 3 have an energy density of about 200 watt hours per kilogram while super capacitors only come in at around 5 to 10 the second problem is that unlike a battery that mostly maintains its voltage as it discharges capacitors drop in voltage as they discharge this means that special electronics are required to control the varying voltage to make it usable to better understand the differences between batteries and capacitors let's use an analogy of pumping and storing water on the Left we have a very big tank with a very small pipe and faucet on the right we have a smaller tank but with a very large pipe and large faucet if it helps you can think of the system on the left as a battery and the one on the right as a capacitor the tank on the Left can hold much more water but it will also take longer to both fill up and drain in comparison the tank on the right doesn't hold as much water but it can empty all of its water almost instantly the same is true for charging and this is a fundamental difference between batteries and capacitors typical uses for capacitors today include the flash on your camera and also in stereo systems with big subwoofers before we continue we wanted to give a special shout out to all of our patrons on patreon thank you for your support it goes a long way in making these videos if you're new and like what you see check out our other videos on this channel and consider becoming a patron okay so battery's currently are able to store much more energy by mass and volume than capacitors but before we click away and think this video is over there is a new technological breakthrough that is proving to be a game-changer and that of course is graphene remember that single sheet of aluminum foil for our homemade capacitor that we thought was so thin if we zoom in on that to the atomic level you'll see it isn't actually all that thin the key to capacitors is to have as much surface area as possible so the thinner we can get the plates the greater the energy vacant store this is where graphene comes in graphene is a single atom thick layer of graphite a common form of carbon graphite is very common in nature and it's used in pencils not lead but if we can shave off just a single layer of atoms from graphite we get graphene before 2004 separating a single layer of a compound was thought impossible due to thermal instabilities that would cause it to break apart but it turns out that the carbon to carbon bonds in graphene are so strong it actually is not only possible but is nearing wide adoption in the industry graphene has some pretty amazing properties like being an amazing electric conductor and being the strongest material ever discovered it has an ultimate tensile strength of a hundred and thirty thousand mega Pascal's in comparison a36 structural steel comes in at four hundred mega Pascal's and Kevlar the stuff in bulletproof vests comes in at 375 and if you mention that this stuff is thin and light yeah one atom thin a square meter of paper would weigh 1000 times more than a square meter of graphene if you cover the entire football field in a graphene layer that graphene would weigh about one gram so you can just imagine how much more graphene you could wrap into a capacitor than any other material there is a company in Estonia an up-and-coming tech hub in Europe call skeleton technologies that is currently producing a proprietary curved graphene ultracapacitor this is pretty amazing stuff they sell cylindrical ultra capacitors much like batteries that you can add in series to achieve any voltage you want they also sell custom prismatic capacitors based on a customer's use case this is revolutionary because these graphene ultra capacitors have energy densities of 30 to 100 watt hours per kilogram they are already selling their ultra capacitors to energy and transportation companies right now and they are just getting started if you want to know more about this innovative company check out this episode of fully charged one of our favorite YouTube channels this is still the early days and even further advancements in energy density are sure to come in the next 10 years if one day capacitors could actually be more energy-dense than batteries or even comparable then they would be the obvious choice to store the electricity of the future for 1 graphene is very abundant as graphite so we don't need large-scale mining operations like we currently do for lithium-ion batteries also graphene is just carbon and is very eco-friendly at the end of its life if these capacitors were built at a large scale cost could also drop to levels below those of batteries charging hypothetical graphene ultracapacitor Evi would take seconds not hours an acceleration and performance would be equally impressive there are some pretty key challenges to graphene that need to be overcome in the coming decade for one it's still hard to separate a single layer of atoms so the challenge isn't in exotic materials but rather the refining process and it might also prove difficult to transport graphene as a raw material if we look at something like the fabric loom which allowed cotton and other materials to be created into sheets and sold as a raw material we see how an entire textile industry was born the same might not be true for graphene which might need to be created on site where it is needed of course this can change but this is one of those challenges that graphene companies will have to sort out the next 10 years of graphene will prove to be very interesting and it could have its place in everything from capacitors to high-strength cables and even bulletproof vests without looking too far ahead they also have extraordinary value right now there aren't any graphene ultracapacitor v's planned anytime soon but they might appear in cars in the coming years as a supplemental energy source for one consider regenerative braking which allows v's to regenerate electricity when slowing down rather than waste it using friction brakes with batteries the rate of regenerative breaking is limited to how fast the batteries can charge if we add an ultracapacitor into the equation the breaks could more completely charge an ultracapacitor which could slowly send electricity back to the battery pack the same is also true for rapid accelerations when an ultracapacitor could provide that fast surge of power needed in short bursts finally ultra capacitors could also help with recharging times out of five kilowatt our ultracapacitor to an e v and you could get twenty five miles of range in just seconds for the energy grid they can provide the same benefits by filling the peaks in demand and production wind turbines are typically speed limited but an ultracapacitor could help collect peak input generation capacitors could also be charged during off-peak times and ready for discharge during unusual energy Peaks these fluctuations are usually what make the detractors say that green energy sources aren't practical but capacitors could change all that in general any situation that needs high power input or output that is a large amount of energy over a very short period of time just think ultracapacitor thank you so much for watching if you like this video hit that thumbs up button if you loved it please consider subscribing and hit the notification bell so you won't miss any of our future videos we run polls to see what our viewers want to see and we're serious about covering what is of interest to our viewers so join us we have tons of future videos plan in the coming months we're tuba da Vinci thank you for watching

29 Comments

  1. Two Bit da Vinci said:

    Share other great content on our Reddit! https://www.reddit.com/r/twobitdavinci
    Have ideas for future videos? Write us here or on twitter @twobitdavici

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  2. Peter Jones said:

    YES!!!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  3. richystar2001 said:

    Graphene is the dirty word that makes tech millionaires wet between the thighs… Graphene is the empty promise that gets millionaires to lighten their investment wallets. If you look up Vaporware in a dictionary… You see.. eg. Graphene.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  4. Laur Oras said:

    ah yes estonia where i live

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  5. Erik Swiger said:

    A bank of capacitors could theoretically capture the energy of a lightning bolt and store it.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  6. MetalGearMk3 said:

    Woah hold on, the K value of the diaelectric is hella important too, higher K value means higher energy storage? There's so much research on high k dielectrics , so I'm not sure why you brushed it off so quickly in this video. The dielectrics is what stores the energy AFAIK.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  7. Mechanicus said:

    no

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  8. plum 1977 said:

    Very interesting. The capacitor is my favorite electronic component. I want to build my own super capacitors.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  9. Edward Dhuyvetter said:

    @Two Bit da Vinci hey, I like your video. at position 00:06:49 from 00:10:27 you stated that Skeleton industries has ultracapacitors up to 100 Wh/kg, but I don't find that, they sell up to 6,8 Wh/kg.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  10. Damalia Marsi said:

    Diesel already made batteries obsolete in 1890.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  11. papaburger said:

    I wonder if graphene capacitors work as well in cold temperature … Cold temperatures affect batteries very much .

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  12. S Wms said:

    Yup. And producing electricity with fusion has been only 20 years away for the past 50 or 60 years

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  13. MrMonkeybat said:

    9:00 why send the regen breaking energy back to the battery? jut keep it in the supercap till you accelerate again. the battery keeps the supercaps topped up not the other way round.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  14. D K said:

    In the advertisement, the chick says she will be honest, which means she's most usually a big fat liar. Just sayin'. That's why people say that. Of course, that makes me wonder what else is not honest…

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  15. zefir Poprostu said:

    bad explanation with the car. the amount of power needed to move 2times faster is 2times^2

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  16. Björn Snellman said:

    I live in Finland… Still waiting for tech to make solar cheap enough… Then I wanna add tons of panels on my roof, store excess in batteries & sell the rest to the energy grid.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  17. Walkertongdee said:

    Please stop talking about storing hydrogen it must be made as used storing highly flammables is not the way to go for obvious reasons.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  18. Dan SW said:

    Just make my phone charge in 30 seconds and last the whole day

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  19. David Coro said:

    More on graphene. Thank you for the info so far.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  20. MrBazsi888 said:

    You want 100% energy independence ? Zero-carbon footprint system will work like this in the future: PV-cell on the roof > electrolyse water generating H2 > store H2 in safe form (powder, inventer: Gerard Lugtigheid) > use needed H2 powder for warm water & eletricity (along the whole wintertime!). Done.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  21. Gart Lonm said:

    Do you think we could make an electric motors with graphene?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  22. Dominic Fastbender said:

    Great content. Please consider using another funding mechanism. I am more than happy to pay for worthwhile content but not be ideological about it. I kicked my patreon habit completely.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  23. Steve Forbin said:

    Will this change your source of energy to run your home and your car and lower your bill from the electric company maybe no bill or you might get a check from them. If every home had that capability then any natural or even a war would be much less likely and the lights would stay on even if a disaster happened. Not sure of the impact on life and or manufacturing in the long term maybe you can enlighten the viewers. If you want to think far out you might think of a food Synthesizer just put in the right food cartridges and push the button

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  24. William Mason said:

    Wake me when it actually happens. Over the years I have heard about so many things that will be life changing and then never hear about it again.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  25. John F. said:

    Perhaps it's video format? I watched a few vids on Roku and got audio and a green screen… My YouTube experience was fine otherwise.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  26. John F. said:

    Do you know that your videos don't work when viewed on YouTube (ROKU) 🤔

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  27. O H said:

    Just discovered your channel. Keep up the good work!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  28. Kevin González said:

    They not going to put batteries obsolete. They are going to use it in the future.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  29. jsbrads1 said:

    You can use saran wrap (plastic cling wrap) as a spacer for the aluminum foil.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply

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