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Discussion Starter #1

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Hang around electric cars for a while and you'll find out there are more "just around the corner" breakthroughs than you can count. Capacitors, flywheels, new battery chemistries, so very few pan out it's hard to get excited over the latest announcement.

Hoping they can make it work but not holding my breath.
 

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As someone who's followed anything high tech for the past 20 years... there's always some company, some where that has "the next big thing" in super energy density, charge in 30 seconds, drive 400 miles, massages your junk without the wife knowing, magical break throughs.

None of these things ever break out into the market like they promised. Either because they find out limitations of physics or the economies of scale aren't in place yet.

Your best bet for whats in store for most cars in the coming 5 to 10 years is to look at what's happening on the high end Mercedes/Audi/Etc cars, the trickle down effect is really the only thing that consistently delivers.
 

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I call BS. I've no reason to doubt they will incrementally improve super-capacitors, but there are physical limits, you need a very small dielectric gap and a very large potential difference to make a high storage device. That dielectric leaks through both conventional physical issues (contamination, etc) and quantum issues (tunnelling). Plus a capacitor dielectric is always under a very powerful galvanic gradient which causes the material to break down over time.

So between 1,000 and 10,000 times current super caps? Why such a big range of uncertainty? Don't they know yet?

Current super caps are in the order of 10's Wh/kg. So they are saying they can make a capacitor with 100kWh in one kg. Bear in mind the energy density of TNT is around 1kWh/kg, so this is a proposed device that can contain 100 times as much energy as high explosive (which can also release its energy almost instantaneously)

This also needs to store energy without loss for at least days at a time, if not weeks, and must sustain galvanic gradients of millions of volts/metre for years at a time.

I'm sure they have a new electronic component, but application for EVs doesn't look realistic.

As someone who's followed anything high tech for the past 20 years... there's always some company, some where that has "the next big thing" in super energy density, charge in 30 seconds, drive 400 miles, massages your junk without the wife knowing, magical break throughs.

None of these things ever break out into the market like they promised. Either because they find out limitations of physics or the economies of scale aren't in place yet.

Your best bet for whats in store for most cars in the coming 5 to 10 years is to look at what's happening on the high end Mercedes/Audi/Etc cars, the trickle down effect is really the only thing that consistently delivers.
Actually, that is more nuanced these days. Many companies are using their 'lower-image' brands to beta-test some technologies, before releasing them to the top-end ranges.
 

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One word, EESTOR, Tells you everything one needs to know about PR hype on super-capacitors and if this will ever come to market. What will likely happen is some university in the UK will get some grants for "research", which is usually what these stories are really about.
 

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That's OK, I'll just hold out for Mr. Fusion and the flux capacitor
 

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I could see super capacitors being used as braking regeneration storage devices that would quickly discharge when accelerating again, but the self-discharge rate of capacitors makes them fairly useless as battery replacements.
 

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Already done

Lighting rod charging system helped give me a really fast charge.
 

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I could see super capacitors being used as braking regeneration storage devices that would quickly discharge when accelerating again, but the self-discharge rate of capacitors makes them fairly useless as battery replacements.
Why replace the battery? Just use the cap's as quick charging units at the filling station (500 amps?). Then as you drive away, they start their release into the batteries at 100 amps.

We all know hybrid solutions work well while the technology catches up.
 

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I wouldn't say none pan out, but only a small percentage do. Even if they are on to something I wouldn't expect a commercial product for at least 10 years. News is fast, the actual process moves relatively slow.
 

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Interesting Toyota article. I still call vaporware until I see it.

I would like to see some breakthroughs actually make it to production rather than bait click or as funding bait for further r & d. I seem to remember a promise of a better cell phone battery to come out - but I haven't seen it.

And yes, everyday I am driving around I wish everyone had an EV - the exhaust smell in the cold of winter really "stinks".
 

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This has a lot of parallels to Andrea Rossi's LENR (Low energy nuclear reactions) cold fusion "breakthrough" that he calls the E-cat (energy catalyzer). Rossi is an eccentric Italian inventor / physicist that is the quintessential mad scientist icon with some Einstein thrown in. He is a likable and very excited guy but maybe also a scammer (opinions vary). I think he may be a little of each, but his heart sort-of in the right place. He is naive and just doesn't understand the complexity of productization. Universities have been able to verify some of the claims he is making for the LENR phenomenon, but not at the high levels of excess energy he is claiming -- not enough to be commercial. Rossi claims to have found a way to break through that ceiling.

Anyway he has been public about his efforts since 2010 or so. In 2011 I started visiting a website run on his behalf. Around mid-2011 he excitedly announced that he was already building a factory to turn out 1 million home E-cats per year. He promised to be shipping product by autumn of 2012. He readership was ecstatic.

Just on the face of it I knew that was BS. I've been involved in developing and launching revolutionary technology in several companies in my career, and I know how long it takes. So I started posting on his website, pointing out all the hurdles to commercialization and production, and finally predicted there will be no product until 2017 at the earliest, absolute best-case. His supporters hurled litany after litany of insult at me, denigrating my opinions but never really refuting any of them. Eventually I got banned from the website. To this day, nothing but empty pronouncements and tiny incremental progress. His remaining supporters are sounding pretty weary these days (when on rare occasion I visit the site).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd say that your 7th word captures all that needs to be said on this subject.
Hah, most likely "Hype" but still interesting. The one thing that intrigues me is the filing of patents. If true, is not a cheap proposition, nor something that is to be taken lightly even among the dedicated bunco artist, but then again we have president elect who is genuinely a true bunco artist so what would i know.
 

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Toyota currently uses them in their race cars, so I can eventually see them filtering down to street use.

 
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