Batteries, although small at times, can be considered as mighty objects. They, after all, hold a certain amount of energy that can be used to make objects come “alive,” such as wall clocks or TV remotes. However, there are times when some people do not what to use batteries due to the properties it have (chemical energy). There are also times when the batteries we rely on “die,” and we have no means to charge it.
Well, rest assured! Because there is a device that can be used to both replace batteries in terms of giving energ and charge batteries at the same time. That device is no other than battery capacitors. Here, we will talk about capacitors, from the basic definition to its storage and effect.
Can capacitors be used as instantly charging batteries?
Before we talk about the difference between capacitors and batteries, let us talk about capacitors first and how people can often mistake it as batteries.
A capacitor is an object that stores energy. They store energy by carrying a positive and negative charge and put them apart at a fixed distance.
The distance itself is the reason for the energy that is stored by the capacitors. After all, it is natural for positive and negative charge wanting to be together. Their strong desire of wanting to unite with each other and the fact that they are separated despite of that will result in an energy that can be used for various purposes, including charging batteries.
Yes, the electrical energy made by capacitors can actually be used to charge batteries. However, it should be noted that capacitors store less charges than batteries, so it will not be able to charge the battery fully. Moreover, there are times when you can actually charge battery fully by using supercapacitors.
What are supercapacitors? They are pretty much the same with capacitors, except that it has more capacity and energy than normal capacitors due to its properties and structure. In fact, there are times when supercapacitors can outperform batteries. That’s how powerful they are!
Although supercapacitors and batteries are similar to each other, there are some differences between them. The differences between them are:
●Charging time ? supercapacitors can be charged as quickly as 10 seconds, while batteries take at least 60 minutes to charge.
●Cell voltage ? supercapacitors’ cell voltage is is around 2.3 to 2.75V, while batteries’ are 3.6 to 3.7V.
●Life cycle ? the life cycle of supercapacitors can reach up to 1 million or 30,000h, and batteries’ are at least 500 (it can be more).
●Power (W/kg) ? at least 10,000 W is stored within supercapacitors, while batteries store around 1,000 to 3,000 W.
●Energy (Wh/kg) ? supercapacitors can have at least 5 Wh/kg, and batteries around 100 to 200 Wh/kg.
●Cost per Wh ? typically, supercapacitors’ cost $20 while batteries are around $0.5 - $1.00.
●Life (for vehicles) ? supercapacitors last longer, as it can last for 10 to 15 years. Meanwhile, batteries last for 5 to 10 years.
●Temperature for charging ? supercapacitors can go even from minus, ranging from -45 to 65 degrees celsius. Batteries, however, can only be around 0 to 45 degree celsius.
●Temperature for discharging ? the discharge temperature for supercapacitor is the same as its charging temperature, but batteries’ discharging temperature is around -20 to 60 degrees celsius.
●Energy type ? the most important difference between supercapacitors and batteries are the energy it stores. Supercapacitors store electrical energy, while batteries store chemical energy
It should be noted that the battery that is used here is the general lithium-ion battery.
Where is energy stored in the capacitor?
Believe it or not, the energy that is stored in the capacitor is located in the space or distance between the two charges.
First, it started with no charge at all on the plates. The energy is started to form when the negative and positive charges are placed on the plates but separated at a fixed distance (the distance must be proper). The two charges’ destire of wanting to connect with each other will create an electrical field between the two, resulting in the electrical energy needed.
Of course, the amount of electrical energy made also depends on the plates, such as the difference between the plates and so on. You can calculate the electrical energy by adding the energy that is stored in each capacitor network
As it has been stated before, a capacity has the ability to charge batteries due to its properties and electrical energy. When it is connected to a battery, the battery, of course, will he charged. However, there are some conditions that need to be noted.
The first condition is the amount of energy transferred to a battery. Because capacitors tend to have lesser energy, it won’t be surprising if the battery won’t be fully charged. It is a different matter though if we use supercapacitors.
The second condition is the flow of the current. It is a fact that the flow of the current won’t be steady, so don’t be surprised if the charging process won’t go smoothly compared to charging with normal chargers. However, no need to worry that the charging won’t happen. It will definitely happen.
Surprising, isn’t it? There are actually some devices that can be used to store energy other than batteries. In fact, energy can be even more to batteries’ if we are using the correct device (in this case, supercapacitors). However, the function between the two make some people msitake capacitors and batteries as the same. That is not the case. Although they give energy, the two of them have different properties and conditions. Things such as charging time, the life cycle, and other factors between the two differs. Everything now depends on you. Will you use capacitor or battery to charge your device? Or, will you use a capacitor to recharge your battery?
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