Supercapacitors are essential in electric vehicles for delivering power in the acceleration phase, which is a considerable proportion of a driving cycle, as well as to recover energy during braking which is also recommended for a sustainable energy and power system of a modern vehicle. High power and sufficient energy density (per kilogram) are required for both the performance of the power system but also to reduce the requested weight of supercapacitors. There are several issues to achieve a high performance/low weight power system that not only need to be addressed by various groups of scientists and engineers but those issues need to be analysed and processed in an integrated framework.
In this project, a multidisciplinary Consortium of leading researchers, research organisations, highly experienced industrialists, and highly active SMEs is assembled to tackle the problems. As a result, the consortium is aiming at developing supercapacitors of both high power and high energy density at affordable levels by the automotive industry, and of higher sustainability than many current electrochemical storage devices.
The objectives of this project are:
(a) Develop different types of carbon materials and structures as electrodes for supercapacitors in combination with different electrolytes and separating membranes, with the aim of a tenfold increase of current maximum energy density while maintaining high power density at least at 25 kW/kg. More specifically, binary carbon structure electrodes are targeted to have an energy density of more than 25 Wh/hr and a power density of 25 kW/kg.
(b) In selecting the best supercapacitor cells for further scale up and fabrication of one or more supercapacitor banks, the selection criteria will be apart from the power and energy density performance, also a cost level of 10E/kW for large scale commercial production. The objective is to achieve all three criteria.
(c) Perform power system simulations and parametric studies to investigate the effects of a high energy density/high power density supercapacitor on an efficient and sustainable automotive power system, and design a supercapacitor bank to optimise the performance of the power system.
(d) Perform a cost and life-cycle-analysis of the proposed supercapacitors for their applications in electric vehicles to assess the business case, economic and environmental sustainability.