Dec 062010
 
Ford Escape Hybrid the first hybrid electric v...
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Research into capacitors for use in hybrid vehiclesEVs, computer power supplies and pacemakers has been given a boost in the order of US$2.25 million.

Professor Gerhard Welsch, who began patenting his designs for capacitors a decade ago, will use the grant to complete development of a small, light, powerful and reliable capacitor that promises a 10-fold or higher increase in energy density over current models.

Welsch, a professor of materials science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University, received the stimulus grant from the U.S Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, (ARPA-E).

ARPA-E is especially interested in the capacitor for hybrid and EV technology. Batteries can’t supply or absorb energy nearly as fast as a capacitor.

“Electric vehicles need power inverters to convert battery power into higher voltage AC power for their electric motors and to harvest braking power,” Welsch said.

Capacitors eliminate this need for inversion as they can deliver their stored energy at high voltages.

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