Researchers have developed a new dielectric capacitor- a device that stores energy like a battery, taking inspiration from a French pastry. The croissant is made by folding multiple layers of dough.
The researchers, including those from Queen Mary institute of London in the United Kingdom, found that by pressing and folding a polymer film capacitor, they were able to store 30 times more energy than the best-performing commercially available dielectric capacitor.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. This is the highest energy density ever reported in a polymer film capacitor. The advance may pave the way for efficient, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly electric energy storage systems for wind and solar sources.
Storing energy can be tricky and expensive, especially with renewable energy sources. With this technique, large amounts of renewable energy can be stored.
The study noted that dielectric capacitors generally have ultrahigh power density making them suitable for technologies such as motor drives, and space vehicle power systems. These require accumulating energy over a period of time and then releasing it very quickly.
Until now, such capacitors were limited by the low amounts of energy they could store. This finding promises a significant impact on the field of pulse power applications and could produce a step-change in the field of dielectric capacitors, so far limited by their low energy storage density.