November 13, 2010 00:45 by Jeremy
It sounds ridiculous, we know, but hear us out. Apparently, the company Ioxus, whose focus is around ultracapacitors and alternative means of energy, is on the road to create an ultracapacitor-battery. But to understand what that means, let's go back to the basics. What is an ultracapacitor?
Simply put, an ultracapacitor is a way of storing energy via electric charges inside of an electrical field. Even simpler than that: it's pretty much like a battery, but the insides work differently, and it lasts longer. Much longer. In fact, that's one of the main perks of the ultracapacitor (I wonder if that's why the word ultra is in there).
So, what happens when you have a battery pack with the attributes of an ultracapacitor? You'd get an item that, according to Ioxus, can charge power tools, handheld medicals devices, and other electronics. Not only that, but it can charge fully in under 2 minutes (even just a 20-second charge will get you pretty far). Ioxus CEO Mark McGough, had this to say about the ultracapacitor-battery-hybrid: "What we've been able to do is take the fast charge/discharge of ultracapacitors and improve the energy density by designing in a lithium ion electrode and putting it all in the same device."
Perhaps the first- and second-generation ultracapacitor-batteries won't be as popular or as strong as we'd like them to be (it won't be able to power your car just yet), but this definitely opens up interesting prospects for the future of batteries.
Sources: cnet, Ioxus