Capacitor Sciences and its thin film capacitor technology could beat Tesla lithium-ion batteries on performance and cost around $100 per kWh. Photo credit: Capacitor Sciences
By Jason Deign
California start-up Capacitor Sciences claims to be developing an energy storage medium that could beat lithium-ion batteries on performance while costing around USD$100 per kWh.
The Menlo Park firm is hoping to use nano-structured crystalline thin films as the dielectric material for capacitors with up to 10 times the energy density and 100 times the power density of lithium ion batteries, according to a press release.
Capacitor Sciences says the use of thin film should overcome problems dogging other capacitor manufacturers, such as ill-fated EEStor, which used inorganic dielectric materials too brittle to withstand repeated charging cycles.
“No-one is really working on this class of materials,” said Wolfgang Mack, vice president of business development. “We’re using organic materials. They are waxy in nature. There’s no damage done during charge and discharge.”
Capacitor Sciences’s founder and chief technology officer, Dr Pavel Lazarev, was previously involved with Crysoptix, a liquid crystal display optical films maker, and nanomaterials business Optiva, which went out of business in 2005.
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There are some energy storage sagas that never seem to end; take the A123 debacle, for instance. Another that popped back into the news is EESTor’s ongoing quest for the energy storage solution to rule them all. Like Tyler Hamilton, who wrote this excellent article on the whole story to date, we noticed a press release from the Texan company last week.
Like him, too, we have no idea if EEStor’s amazing claims that it has tripled its original energy density target, reaching 1,000 watt-hours per kilogram, could be true or not. And like him, we are keeping our fingers crossed.
Under the banner of The EEStor Ultracapacitor Saga Continues Greentech Media wonders what has happened to EEStor’s legendary super capacitor, which, Greentech says, “would store more energy and charge and discharge faster than previous materials by a factor of ten”.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech Pulse and others strike a more neutral tone by noting that the company says it has made “major progress” in bringing its potentially game-changing technology to market.