Georgia Tech Research Corporation is developing a supercapacitor using graphene—a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms—to substantially store more energy than current technologies. Supercapacitors store energy in a different manner than batteries, which enables them to charge and discharge much more rapidly. The Georgia Tech team approach is to improve the internal structure of graphene sheets with ‘molecular spacers,’ in order to store more energy at lower cost. The proposed design could increase the energy density of the supercapacitor by 10–15 times over established capacitor technologies, and would serve as a cost-effective and environmentally safe alternative to traditional storage methods.
If successful, Georgia Tech’s high-performance supercapacitor would enable quick charging and massive energy storage for HEVs, EVs and portable electronics.
Increased use of HEVs and EVs would decrease U.S. reliance on foreign sources of fossil fuels.
Increased use of HEVs and EVs would decrease harmful greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline-based vehicles.
Making it cheaper and easier to charge HEVs and EVs would save consumers time and money.