GIST scientists reveal changes to capacitors to ensure safer energy storage

Sharing is Caring scientists reveal changes to capacitors to ensure safer energy storage

Researchers from the GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) have reportedly discovered key changes to effectively manage the thermal properties of energy storage devices.

For the unversed, the performance of latest energy storage devices like batteries and supercapacitors highly depends on temperature. If a device heats up beyond a limit, it can lead to a thermal runaway, or unregulated heating, thereby resulting in fires or explosions.

The researchers studied the thermal characteristics of EDLCs (electric double-layer capacitors), a high-powered supercapacitor having a long life, for setting basic thermal measurement and uncovered substantial insights.

Professor Jae Hun Seol, who spearheaded the study, cited that the researchers measured real-time changes in the thermal capacity of EDLCs using the 3ω hot-wire method in a microscopic electrode-electrolyte volume.

The research team performed experiments both operando (while charging) and in situ (under static conditions). They discovered that the temperatures of the negative and positive electrodes changed by 0.42 percent and 0.92 percent during charging, which corresponds to 3.91 percent and 9.14 percent heat capacity (Cp) reductions respectively.

Professor Seol added that the ionic configuration entropy of a system reduces during the charging process. This affects the system’s free energy thereby leading to a decrease in Cp.

Furthermore, the team changed the concentration of potassium hydroxide to understand how it affects the performance of EDLC.

They discovered that the EDLC showcased Cp reduction and maximum capacitance when the concentration of the electrolyte was 8 M. The team accredited this to changes in their ionic mobility and the degree of ionic hydration.

Seol pointed out that the process of discharging and charging varies the Cp of EDLCs. Findings like these will facilitate the understanding of the fundamental thermal physics of EDLCs.

These outcomes are critical towards planning effective strategies of thermal management, thereby creating reliable and safer energy storage devices.

The study will be issued in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer on June 1st, 2022.

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