EEStor Ultra Capacitors: The Science Explained

We finally find out about the science behind the secretive EEStor Capacitors from the Austin American Statesman:

Think of it as a grilled-cheese sandwich: The bread holds opposite charges. The cheese helps maintain the opposing charges, even as it separates the bread and keeps those charges from canceling each other out. Then you stack one layer atop another.

"It's real simple," Hebner said. "It's just two pieces of metal with some material in between them. You put a voltage across them and they store a certain amount of charge."The hard part is making them efficient enough to store more and more power. Most research has focused on ways to increase the surface area of the plates so they can hold a greater charge. To use the grilled-cheese example, the nooks and crannies of a rough piece of bread can hold more butter than a smoother slice of the same size.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said its researchers were developing plates made of super-small nanotubes that would vastly increase surface area on the same size plate.

Weir and Nelson [of EEStor] have gone the other direction: They're focusing on the cheese instead of the bread. Different types of cheese — and thinner slices of it — help store more powerful charges. EEStor's patent describes a method that takes a really good cheese and creates an extremely thin layer of it.

Read the whole story at the ::American Statesman via ::Clean Break and then go for lunch.