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Capacitors for an Electric Car?

by Kyle Watts
(Belton, Mo)

So, could you create a system that uses alternators and the spin of the tire to create an electrical current that you could store in capacitors and then hook your smart charger up to the capacitors so you have a constant charge going to the batteries at all times?

Hi, Kyle -
You don't need alternators for this, actually; the AC inverter does this quite easily already with no extra equipment. It's called regenerative braking, and all the new electric cars coming out on the market have it, because yes, it's a very good idea.

As for capacitors? So far nobody's built a capacitor that works well in an EV environment. Jostling around and vibrating tends to make them dump all their charge through the nearest available avenue, such as you, it seems like I've heard.

Eestor is working on a supercapacitor that can be used in electric cars, but I've yet to see it materialize.

Anyway, here's an interesting idea...

MIT has recently developed a battery that can be used for electric cars where, when your battery runs down, you go to a station, vacuum out the discharged liquid inside the battery, and "refuel" it with fresh charged fluid. From the article:

"The batteries are powered by semi-solid flow cells, an innovative architecture in which charged particles floating in a liquid electrolyte between two containers--one for storing energy and one for discharging energy."

Sounds good to me!


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