Fast-charging everlasting battery power from graphene

July 19, 2016 by Han Lin

Swinburne University researchers have invented a new, flexible energy-storage technology that could soon replace the batteries in our cars, phones and more.

Han Lin's new super (actually, a supercapacitor) can store as much energy per kilogram as a , but charges in minutes, or even seconds, and uses carbon instead of expensive lithium.

The majority of batteries used in Australia are lead-acid batteries. These have three main disadvantages: they can take hours to charge, they have a limited lifespan for charging and discharging, and they're bad for the environment, therefore requiring special, expensive disposal processes.

Han's supercapacitor charges extremely fast, can be charged and discharged millions of time, and is environmentally friendly.

Previously, a major problem with supercapacitors has been their low capacity to store energy. But Han has overcome this problem by using sheets of a form of carbon known as graphene, which has a very available to store energy.

Large scale production of the graphene that would be needed to produce these supercapacitors was once unachievable, but using a 3-D printer, Han is able to produce graphene at a low cost.

And because the technology is extremely flexible and thin (as thin as ordinary printing paper) the new super batteries could be potentially be built into clothing, or worn as a watch strap, to achieve a wearable power supply.

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13 comments

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ForFreeMinds
5 / 5 (5) Jul 19, 2016
In spite of the lack of technical detail, I hope this yields better batteries, and thank the researcher, Han LIn, for the discovery!
toekneebologna3
5 / 5 (4) Jul 19, 2016
how can you post this and not provide tons of more information!? need to have way more technical details with a post like this. If this is true, it would change the entire world! I find it suspicious that inventor of this super battery is also the author of this cryptic vague article.
bschott
5 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2016
how can you post this and not provide tons of more information!? need to have way more technical details with a post like this. If this is true, it would change the entire world! I find it suspicious that inventor of this super battery is also the author of this cryptic vague article.

Perhaps after the patent is in place....
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Jul 19, 2016
So... Han Lin wrote an article about his own invention...
Shameless self promotion - I Love it!
tekram
5 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2016
http://www.swinbu...ber=hlin
Han presented his research at Fresh Science Victoria 2016.
Swinburne University of Technology.

Contact: Han Lin, 0433 088 865, hanlin@swin.edu.au
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 19, 2016
Couple of things that might be interesting:
- variability with temperature
- retention time of charge once charged (no use if you charge it and it's discharged the next morning. Fast charging usually goes along with fast self-discharge)

...and of course: supercaps always have an issue with voltage. Batteries have constant voltage until (almost) discharged. For supercaps voltage drops from the get-go. While this is not an insurmountable issue it makes the electronics a lot more complicated to provide the constant voltages that motors require.
greenonions
4 / 5 (4) Jul 19, 2016
Sooner or later we will get batteries that are much better. There is so much research going on. This is a good account of some of the possible chemistries that seem pretty close to market. http://www.pocket...-the-air There is so much reward in this one - but also so much liability. No one wants to put a new battery technology in 100,000 cars, and then have to recall them.
Lord_jag
5 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2016
While this is not an insurmountable issue it makes the electronics a lot more complicated to provide the constant voltages that motors require.

No actually. It's a very simple circuit. There are many variations, but one in particular uses a pulse width modulator with a active feedback circuit to regulate charge flow to a capacitor. You could even boost the signal to a higher voltage using a tiny transformer.

Look at basic DC-DC converters. Going from a wide range variable DC input to a stable DC output is a well known and simple circuit. It was perfected long, long ago.
marcush
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2016
This is shameless self-promotion. No published article is cited. I am going to report this.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 20, 2016
No actually. It's a very simple circuit. There are many variations, but one in particular uses a pulse width modulator with a active feedback circuit to regulate charge flow to a capacitor. You could even boost the signal to a higher voltage using a tiny transformer.

While these are simple means they are both rather lossy (which would negate the advantage of the system). The systems I've seen implemented use a smart (but somewhat complicated) way to switch cells together on the fly so that the output voltage remains the same.

Look at basic DC-DC converter

Supercaps do not provide stable DC. They're capacitors.
eljo
not rated yet Jul 24, 2016
How is this a new invention? Ever since graphene is around in sheetform it has been used for supercapacitors that is even cheaper than 3D printing it. The lack of technical detail is annoying indeed.
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Jul 25, 2016
Look at basic DC-DC converters. Going from a wide range variable DC input to a stable DC output is a well known and simple circuit. It was perfected long, long ago.


Basic small DC-DC converters have terrible efficiency and poor power handling capacity. It's actually not trivial to get one that performs at 80%+ efficiency over a wide range of sources and loads.

For example, in a cellphone, the load varies from microwatts to watts, over a range of 10,000x depending on what you do with the phone. A DC-DC converter that is designed to output Watts will waste 99% of the battery when the phone is on standby, just to run the oscillator and switches. That's why the phone circuitry is designed to operate over the range of voltages available, from about 2.7 - 4.4 Volts without an SMPS in between.

Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Jul 27, 2016
Of course, in a capacitor the stored energy is proportional to the square of voltage, so in a supercapacitor designed for 4.3 Volts, 66% of the energy is above 2.5 Volts.

The difference is that 99.9% of the energy in an ordinary lithium battery is above 2.5 Volts.

So if the low voltage cutoff is at 2.5 Volts, the capacitor loses a third of its useful charge. If it's at 1.5 Volts, the capacitor can discharge 88% of its contents. You can't technically empty it without external power because the charge pump that would do so has to operate all the way down to zero volts and 0.8 Volts is about the practical limit where transistors stop working.

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