Rolls Royce looks to new supercapacitor material

Rolls Royce looks to new supercapacitor material

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Rolls-Royce (not the car maker but the engine and ship designer) will use Superdielectrics’ new hydrophilic polymers that were developed with researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Surrey, to have signficantly higher energy storage properties.

“We are very pleased to be working with Superdielectrics at a time of rapidly-evolving developments in the energy storage industry. We bring deep experience of materials technology and advanced applications that require high energy storage capabilities with controllable rates of recovery,” said Dr Dave Smith, Director of Central Technology at Rolls-Royce. “We believe that electrification will play an increasingly important role in many of our markets over the coming years and by working with partners on potential new technologies for energy storage we can ensure that Rolls-Royce is well positioned to take advantage of new developments.”

The exact terms of the agreement between Rolls-Royce and Superdielectrics remain confidential.

“This collaboration is a great opportunity for us to work together to advance supercapacitor technology.  Our future challenge is to turn our latest scientific findings into robust engineered devices and realise their ground-breaking potential,” said Dr Ian Hamerton, Reader in Polymers and Composite Materials from the Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) within the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol.

Superdielectrics is a material research company that has discovered, with the Universities of Surrey and Bristol, an entirely new group of polymeric superdielectrics similar to those originally designed for soft contact lenses that it has patented. The University of Bristol estimates that these materials have dielectric property values which are 1,000-10,000 times greater than conventional electrolyte solutions and are not limited by rare or expensive elements, potentially providing a higher energy density than both lead acid and lithium-ion batteries. The supercapacitors also offer very rapid charge and discharge capabilities and can be used alongside batteries in electric vehicles and power train systems that Rolls Royce develops.

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