Supercapacitor is the new exciting word of the future. It's a potential replacement for lithium batteries, a power storage option that offers massive benefits including thousands of times the capacity in the same footprint, vastly quicker charging times and zero potential for catching on fire. If only it was real yet.
Helping perhaps make it real soon is automaker and plane powerplant specialist Rolls-Royce, which has gifted/invested money in supercapacitor startup Superdielectrics Ltd to, maybe, hopefully, pioneer this emerging technology.
Superdielectrics's concept sees hydrophilic polymers — floppy materials commonly associated with disposable contact lenses — used as capacitors to store power in electrostatic fields. They are better than the old ones and their material choices for reasons unknown to our simple minds. Depending on which scientist you listen to, these next-gen capacitors will be good for many more recharge cycles than current lithium-ion batteries and/or longer lasting too, although current supercapacitor developments run at voltages too low to be of use in high power devices. So a solution needs to be Elon Musked out of the air somehow before they might be actually... made. [Rolls via Telegraph]