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  Capacitor 2

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It's become pretty quiet about as the condenser as an energy storage. Thereby, one once saw it as having a great future. Indeed, time is actually on its side, since the amount of energy that can be stored in batteries, is progressing only slowly.

The automobile manufacturers had intended to place dozens of them in their cross beams and spurs (see above picture), where they wouldn't interfere with anything else. Their capacity, one can also say the storable amount of energy, depends on the charging voltage, the surfaces of both poles and the distance between the surfaces and the isolating layer.

It is however, dependant, although not directly, on the thickness on the two rolled up metal sheets, so that, as far as weight is concerned, it could perhaps be lighter than the batteries. Cleverly applied, they could even make up the floor of the frame, and would thus, strengthen the bodywork. Replacing them would then however, be difficult. Indeed, there's so little to a condenser, that they may never have to be replaced at all.

Another trend speaks out for the condenser. This is the recent short term storage which takes place frequently in hybrids. When braking, e.g., in urban traffic, the high performance capacitors can release short term energy, which can however support the next starting-off with about 50% more torque. This shows the main advantage of condensers: they can quickly take in large amounts of charge and release it again just as quickly.

And this, where according to the newest trend in combustion engines being extremely thrifty, the weakness is to be found, that the electric motor is often needed for at least, the same performance as in the past. So, a charge will frequently be stored and called up again, a rather unfavourable situation for batteries but ideal for condensers.

Whereby, the fast intake of a large amount of energy is perhaps the more important feature. However, the charge input is not steady. With increasing charging, it becomes more difficult. Even worse, is the releasing of energy, as you can see in the picture below, in the beginning the delivery is very good, but after a short time it drops away quickly. This is probably the principal reason why condensers are not suitable, e.g., for hybrid-vehicles.

It must not necessarily be only two metal plates rolled into each other with suitable insulators, it could also be several. In the picture below, you can see the effect of a parallel circuit of condensers, which would also be necessary, if they were to be placed in different cross-sections. The picture shows, that the plate surface is doubled, thus also the energy intake- or release.


Vice versa, the serial connection of two identical condensers, has the same effect as the doubling of the plate distances. Thus in this case, the capacity would be halved.


Now, towards the end, but hopefully not too late, we would like to point out, that condensers are a safety hazard. Although they can't hold a charge forever, one never knows when, and with how much tension they were perhaps charged. Consequently, the tension can be more than 60 volts, which does make it dangerous (see video 1). By the way, the unknown amount of charge is probably one further reason, why they have not made a breakthrough in electric-mobility. 08/14               Top of page               Index
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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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