Why is ther no bat-acitor (hybrid battery/capacitor)?
June 10, 2008 1:02 PM Subscribe
Why is there no bat-acitor? (hybrid battery/capacity w/best of both) Is there some limitation in physics, chemistry, materials, etc. that prevents it, or has it just not been invented yet?
posted by bartleby to Science & Nature (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So as I understand it (generalizing):
1) a Battery can store an electrical charge. It can only be charged by a fixed amount over a period of time, and can only discharge over a period of time. But it can hold its charge for an extended period.
2) a Capacitor can also store an electrical charge. It can be charged to its capacity in either a burst or a trickle; but it discharges all at once. And it can't hold a charge for an extended period.
What I'd like to see, along with my personal jetpack, is a "bat-acitor" which can:
1) be charged either in burst or trickle
2) discharge either in burst or trickle
3) hold that charge, if not indefinitely, then for some reasonable period
4) not be volatile (not gonna go kaboom if you look at it wrong)
I read a lot of Heinlein as a kid, and I remember the Shipstone battery as being a key piece of technology for this in his universe. Physical object (maybe a crystal?) could be charged just as easily by a bolt of lightning as by a solar panel; discharge output had a rheostat allowing it to be a 9v battery lasting for decades - or to let out a lightning bolt all at once.
That's Sci-Fi, understood. But why do I have to wait overnight for a rechargeable battery to "fill up" at a trickle, instead of just letting it "drink from the fire hose" - plugging it in and counting to ten?
Lay some science on me.