New capacitors to improve electric vehicles

August 2, 2013, National Physical Laboratory

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."

Explore further: Thin, flexible glass for energy storage

Related Stories

Thin, flexible glass for energy storage

July 22, 2013

A new use for glass is being developed by researchers in Penn State's Materials Research Institute that could make future hybrid-electric and plug-in electric vehicles more affordable and reliable.

High-performance energy storage

July 3, 2007

North Carolina State University physicists have recently deduced a way to improve high-energy-density capacitors so that they can store up to seven times as much energy per unit volume than the common capacitor.

New material holds big energy hope

July 1, 2013

(Phys.org) —A new material that can store large amounts of energy with very little energy loss has been developed by researchers at the Australian National University.

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.