New capacitors to improve electric vehicles

August 2, 2013

Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have developed a new lead-free, high temperature ceramic capacitor that could improve the efficiency and reliability of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid and electric vehicles rely on and management, with automotive power electronics representing an emerging £40 billion global market.

The power electronics found in vehicles today require cooling because of limitations in the temperature rating of components such as capacitors, which are used to store electrical energy. This is a disadvantage as the extra cooling systems add weight to the vehicles, reducing efficiency and reliability.

The Technology Strategy Board programme for Low Carbon Vehicles funded scientists at NPL and their collaborators to work on a solution to this problem by developing a new ceramic capacitor dielectric material with a high , called HITECA, which operates with a stable capacitance at temperatures of 200 °C and above.

The use of this material in electric and hybrid vehicles would reduce the need for cooling and the associated weight of the vehicles. Its high permittivity could enable smaller electronic devices and its reduced loss of capacitance with voltage could improve overall vehicle performance. Other types of capacitor, for example capacitors, can lose up to 85% of their capacitance at working voltage.

As well as having applications in the , HITECA capacitors could improve high temperature electronics in the aerospace, power, oil and gas sectors, and in high energy applications such as 'pulsed power' - where energy is stored over a period of time before being released as a high power 'pulse'.

Tatiana Correia, who led the work at NPL, said: "Industrial electronics need to be able to perform in the in which they operate. The ability of HITECA capacitors to function at higher temperatures than existing capacitors will help make electronic systems more robust and remove barriers for technologies such as electric vehicles that rely on them."

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GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2013
HITECA capacitors could improve high temperature electronics in the aerospace, power, oil and gas sectors, and in high energy applications such as 'pulsed power' - where energy is stored over a period of time before being released as a high power 'pulse'


And those annoying thump thump car stereos. They'll love these, since the capacitors they use now are huge and they get really hot. So, now they can play their music even louder. Great.

A small version of this would be really nice in my remote control helicopters though.
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 05, 2013
A small version of this would be really nice in my remote control helicopters though.


My first thought was remote control cars. Anything where you want fast charging electrical storage with a fast discharge. If the charge is high enough you could almost replace batteries with capacitors. They charge a lot faster, can discharge a lot faster, and generally last for more recharges then lithium ion batteries.

I'm kinda thinking cell phones. How nice would it be to have a phone charge in less then a second? Even if you have to charge it twice a day it would be worth it.

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