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Rolls-Royce partners with Superdielectrics to explore potential of new high energy capacity supercapacitor technology

Rolls-Royce has signed a collaboration agreement with UK-based technology start-up Superdielectrics Ltd to explore the potential of using novel hydrophilic polymers to create next-generation high-energy storage technology.

Superdielectrics Ltd is a material research company that has discovered, in self-funded research with the Universities of Surrey and Bristol, a new group of polymeric superdielectrics. The company has filed patents on these materials and is working to commercialize them in supercapacitor electrolyte materials and electrical energy storage.

The University of Bristol estimates that these newly discovered materials have dielectric property values which are 1,000-10,000 times greater than conventional electrolyte solutions.

Researchers from the universities achieved practical capacitance values of up to 4F/cm2 on smooth low-cost metal foil electrodes. Existing supercapacitors on the market typically reach 0.3F/cm2 depending upon complex extended surface electrodes.

More significantly, the researchers managed to achieve results of 11-20F/cm2 when the polymers were used with specially treated stainless-steel electrodes—the details of which are being kept private pending a patent application.

If these values of capacitance can be achieved in production, it could potentially see supercapacitors achieving energy densities of up to 180 Wh/kg—greater than current lithium-ion batteries.

The agreement will see Rolls-Royce combine its world-class material science and technical expertise with Superdielectrics’ novel hydrophilic polymers.

We are very pleased to be working with Superdielectrics Ltd at a time of rapidly-evolving developments in the energy storage industry. We bring deep experience of materials technology and advanced applications that require high energy storage capabilities with controllable rates of recovery.

We believe that electrification will play an increasingly important role in many of our markets over the coming years and by working with partners on potential new technologies for energy storage we can ensure that Rolls-Royce is well positioned to take advantage of new developments.

—Dr. Dave Smith, Director of Central Technology, Rolls-Royce

Comments

Patrick Free

Huge promise of value here !!!
"If these values of capacitance can be achieved in production, it could potentially see supercapacitors achieving energy densities of up to 180 Wh/kg...". That would be great but then question will be weather it retains the usual benefits of SuperCapacitors, means > 1 Million Cycles and # instant charge/discharge capabilitiy. Then they'll need to disclose the Wh/Liter, and the hazardeous conducts vs temperatures and chocs and fire and water ...etc , to make sure where this new EESTOR monster techno could fit.

Wiredsim

180 being higher than current lithium-ion’s is incorrect. Perhaps there are some lithium ion batteries that this has a higher energy density than, but this does not compare to the current state of the art which is about double.

However if it possesses existing super capacitor characteristics such as virtually unlimited cycle life and extreme current capacity then it is still very revolutionary.

Handheld railguns here we come.

I could also see a small super capacitor bank in conjunction with a large low power density, but high density lithium pack such as lithium sulfur.

Engineer-Poet

A supercap in the 180 Wh/kg range lets you put 20 kg of caps in a hybrid vehicle and make the drivetrain electric-dominant.  You could even do something crazy like 1 motor per wheel in an AWD configuration with a mechanical connection to just one of the front wheels, eliminating the differential while providing a mechanical "limp-home mode" if the electrics fail.

Just for BOTE, a 2000 kg car moving at 75 MPH has just 312 Wh of kinetic energy.  If the electrics can accelerate the car in 5 seconds and there's 360 Wh in 20 kg of capacitor, you don't even need to start the engine for several seconds into the run.  Crazy fast, crazy quiet, crazy smooth.

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