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Project Limitless

Never worry about fuel again! With a capacitor powered car, you'll never have to waste your time filling up or charging.

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A graphene powered car would benefit the world in many ways. It would have no emissions so it would not cause pollution, it would only take a few minutes to charge. It would be possible to create inductive charging. If that's done, it would be possible to place inductive charging panels in driveways and parking spots that activate when a car has parked on top of them, and charge the car wirelessly. Since they are supercapacitors and not batteries, they would last MUCH longer and you would be able to drive for (we're aiming) at least two thousand miles on a single charge. Using a supercapacitor would be better for vehicles in an emergency situation as well. Let's say your car does, for some reason, lose it's charge. You can install an emergency crank on the engine and charge it using kinetic energy. No more pushing cars! Our plan is to make a multi-celled energy pack containing multiple graphene supercapacitors to replace the batteries currently used in electric cars.

The main project isn't necessarily the car. The car is our big goal but we are really just trying to create a reliable battery that can be used in phones, laptops, flashlights, pacemakers, and much much more.

  • 1 × Locktite Spray Adhesive This is used to attach the Mylar to the LightScribe discs.
  • 1 × LightScribe Drive The drive is used to burn the Graphene Oxide using infared lasers to reduce it to Graphene.
  • 1 × LightScribe Discs LightScribe drives can only read LightScribe discs.
  • 1 × Mylar Mylar is acting both as our substrate to cover the discs and the dielectric for the capacitors.
  • 1 × Adhesive Copper Wire This wire is used as leads in the super capacitor. It is adhesive so no soldering is required.

View all 8 components

  • Graphene Made

    Timothy Bomer06/20/2015 at 17:32 0 comments

    All components are in! We have successfully created a small amount of Graphene. We will test this to measure it's density, then create a lot more to make some capacitors! This is the most difficult aspect of the project!

  • Parts In Transit

    Timothy Bomer06/09/2015 at 05:03 0 comments

    I'm proud to say that all of our testing equipment has been ordered and will be arriving withing the next two weeks!

  • About to order the parts

    Timothy Bomer06/08/2015 at 14:49 0 comments

    I'm going to be ordering the components to create the graphene, then I'll build a small supercapacitor to power a smartphone.

  • Graphene Oxide

    Timothy Bomer06/06/2015 at 03:42 6 comments

    I'm looking at using Graphene Oxide and chemically reducing it to Graphene instead of Graphite Oxide because it would be a lot cheaper.

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sailor.shion22 wrote 06/08/2020 at 12:48 point

I was looking for a car that can cope with any off-road and family trips. It was the Jeep gladiator review https://carbuzz.com/cars/jeep/gladiator that, according to its criteria and technical specifications, met all my expectations. A large comfortable lounge and trunk allows you to conquer a long road with all the amenities and at the same time has a fairly economical expense. Reviews are really worth a look before buying, but it is best to experience all the charms in person.

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MW Motors wrote 07/06/2015 at 11:48 point

Hi Tim,

We have already done this.    We got our samples tested by  the graphene institute at a Czech university.  We achieved sheet resistance of 247 Ω/sq on our best sample.

 * experimental conditions:

The two wire Kelvin resistance measurements were carried out by Keithley 4200 SCS
instrument. The measurement step was set to 5 mV, measurement duration was 44s
and the voltage was in range from -1V to 1V. The values are the average ±
std.deviation from 3 independent measurements on the given sample.

As far as we know, this is actually much better than any university has achieved to date.  But, there are serious issues with scalability of this method.  

So, we did something completely different!!  The new method has no 'fiddling' involved & we have achieved sheet resistance of 13 Ω/sq.. 

We have made some supercaps.  They work fairly well.  Charge starts at about 3V & drops off a cliff rapidly, stabilizing at about 1.2V.  The biggest Graphene cap we have made so far is 4cm x 8cm.  We have stacked 8 of these to give us a lot more capacitance.  This takes about 1 second to charge & it will charge a cell phone for about 2 minutes..

I do not think supercaps will replace batteries in cars.  But, they will work really well with batteries.  Our plan is to build our supercaps into our LUKA EV https://hackaday.io/project/5066-luka-ev   

Our supercaps cost almost nothing to make.  The plan is that the caps will do all the heavy work in the car (like acceleration).  They will also be used to capture the energy from our regen braking system. The caps are completely flexible so we think we can eventually build them into the body of the car.  If caps are doing all the hard work, the battery will last a lot longer (In all senses, it will give a car a better range & it will extend the overall life of the battery)

At the end of the summer we will ramp production so we can make about 200 sheets of 8cm x 4cm each day.  

My gut is telling me that many big companies must be working on this so I suspect neither you nor I will be winning the Noble prize.  I hope big companies are working on it because it really should be a game changer.  

We are into open sourcing 'everything' but I am not going to tell you our methods yet.  But, you are sort of on the right track !.  If you keep at it, you might make some wonderful...

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/20/2015 at 17:40 point

So far, everything is going according to plan. The Graphene oxide is working but it's not creating a lot of Graphene. We may end up paying the extra cost to get the Graphite oxide. We think it will produce a higher concentration of Graphene and not waste as much oxide.

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/20/2015 at 17:40 point

So far, everything is going according to plan. The Graphene oxide is working but it's not creating a lot of Graphene. We may end up paying the extra cost to get the Graphite oxide. We think it will produce a higher concentration of Graphene and not waste as much oxide.

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Nuno Sousa wrote 06/04/2015 at 04:39 point

"Let's say your car does, for some reason, lose it's charge. You can install an emergency crank on the engine and charge it using kinetic energy. No more pushing cars!"

It would be far more effective to push the car... The human body can do about 350W for a couple seconds ("sprint"), but the average manual labour turning a shaft would be about 30W (and getting your back into it - This value is from some work I did in college with bycicle powered computers). Consider wastage in conversion with top quality engine/generator of 60% and you will realize that the 23kW average consuption would thus require 1150s of labour for each average second running the car... Even if you only wanted to park it you would have to work for an entire day.

Regarding graphene supercaps : It's not the matter of applying graphene supercaps to automotive industry, it's about devolping graphene supercaps in the 1st place. And reaching anywhere near the theoretical energy density of graphene energy storage which is astronomic. If you pull it off, you'll likelly get a Nobel Prize, as you'll change human technology imensurably.

And with that in mind I'm off to bed as it's nearly 6am @Enno Zickler.

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/04/2015 at 04:47 point

Just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it can't. That's a major factor in this whole competition. I appreciate all of the feedback, it's helped me refine my design quite a bit.

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Nuno Sousa wrote 06/04/2015 at 17:28 point

Of course :) There is no thing as draming too high. With current technology you should maybe explore the idea of an electrical drag racer though. (Just a thought) - electrical engines can have Power/Weight greater than combustion. If that is coupled with the supporting Power/Weight ratio of supercaps you might have a vheicle with astounding acceleration... 

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Enno Zickler wrote 06/04/2015 at 02:18 point

@zakqwy is right. i think you just can't deliver such an amount off energy with solar panels. just some simple example i did to get an idea of the power consumption and production on an e-car with solar paenls:

solar energy in bright sun: 150 W/m2
car surface base on dimensions: 2m X 4m = 8 m2
=> 1,2kW

i think this is even pretty optimistic as it relays on direct bright sun light and panel are only god at the tight angle which is difficult on a car surface. and 8 m2 surface is maybe possible on an suv sized car but not on as smaller one.

tesla s:
70 kWh battery
240 miles range
at 80 mph => 3hours
=> 70kWh/3h = 23kW

So you see there is a power consumption x20 bigger than the generated energy at 80mph.

I think for solar driven cars you need to go ultra light weight and speed around 40mph. Real cars need some kind of energy storage which could be charged quickly.

And as far as i can see from the wiki page of supercapacitor they are pretty impressive compared to capacitors but the energy density ( kw/kg) is just 10% of modern batteries. So  your "battery" of supercapacitors is 10x heavier. 

As i mentioned, i think focusing on quick charge based on the "flux" idea sounds god to me. But solar is only a bonus as it it may delivers 10% of the energy needed at 40mph speed or charge the parking car.

So i'm again not sure about all this and as its 4 am i really need some sleep.

ps: just saw @zakqwy other post :/ .... too late. sry

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/04/2015 at 02:33 point

The solar panels were just a theory we were going to test. Not part of the actual design. Our main goal is to get the car to effeciently USE the super caps. The charging part is second. (Although still being though of while designing the car.)

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zakqwy wrote 06/03/2015 at 14:23 point

Starter data for your calculations: Nissan Leaf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf) has a 24 kWh battery (21.3 kWh usable) and a 80 kW electric drive motor. Based on the range tests in the Wikipedia article--75 minutes at 55 mph to deplete the battery--you could probably assume that the motor draws (on average) a lot less than that. Call it 15 kW. So.. you'll need, to duplicate the ~70 mile range of the Leaf, 21.3 kWh of equivalent supercapacitor capacity. If you want to charge one and run off the other, you'll need twice that--42.6 kWh. To charge one in the time it takes to discharge the other, you'll need a 15 kW solar array. So: calculation time. How big is a reasonably priced 15 kW solar array, and how much does it weigh? At your target power density, how big/how heavy will your supercapacitors be? How much will they cost, making some assumptions about scaling up your prototype?

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davedarko wrote 06/02/2015 at 14:47 point

Well great, now I wan't to make graphene caps :D I'm back from a 3hours research marathon and found this http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28770876 - hemp is weirdly awesome! anyway good luck with your project!

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/03/2015 at 12:28 point

Thank you! It seems very plausable, but just a theory so far.

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zakqwy wrote 06/01/2015 at 13:35 point

What kind of energy density can you get out of a graphene supercapacitor? Are there commercially available devices out there that you plan to use, or are you going to develop the storage system yourself?

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/01/2015 at 14:12 point

Graphene is difficult to manufacture so there's not much we'd be able to get commercially so we would be making everything ourselves. As for energy density, it's not going to be a single supercap and it won't be only supercaps. They have a tendency to self-discharge (although I'm not sure about Graphene specifically, but it has very little internal resistance so I assume it would as well) so we are creating something we call a discharge chamber which catches any release and re-routes it back to the capacitors.

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zakqwy wrote 06/01/2015 at 14:36 point

I guess I'll phrase the energy density question a bit differently: where do you hope to fall on this chart? 

2000 miles on a single charge is pretty far. Have you built a small graphene-based supercapacitor as a proof-of-concept yet?

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/01/2015 at 14:58 point

I have tested one, I can power a small LED light for over 5 minutes on a single 3 second charge. This is with one SMALL suoercapacitor. The materials needed to make them are a little pricey, but I'll upload a video as soon as I build one of my own. The 2,000 miles is my goal, which I believe is achievable using a concept like (you'll find this amusing if you've seen back to the future) a Flux capacitor. One large capacitor discharges into the controller, while the other two or three charges (they charge quickly), then a different capacitor discharges while the others charge, and they rotate through. I'll have to run some tests to place it on the graph, but from the research I've done on it, it should be higher than any electrochemical battery. (Keep in mind, I haven't gone to college yet, I'm only 17 haha. There's bound to be a few flaws but everything can be worked around.)

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/02/2015 at 12:36 point

I believe the Wh/kg to be around 135. This may not sound remarkable, but this is VERY high for a capacitor and even a supercapacitor. Creating a supercapacitor with mutiple cells could mean a fantastic non-chemical, biodegradable energy source for electric vehicles. Combined with solar pannels or an inductive charging plate, you'd get a car that never has to stop.

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Enno Zickler wrote 06/03/2015 at 11:57 point

Hi, so if the Wh/kg ratio isn't much better then batteries how do you get a range of 2000 miles per charge? I don't see how the super capacitors are helping on the problem of more wight needing more energy to drive. I think using super capacitors is a great idea, but more because it could enable e-cars to be charged like "normal" cars are fueled: In a short stop on gas-station just using a super charger instead of the filling gas . This would make the transition form fuel to electricity much easier for people, as the fear of running out of energy and having to wait for a full charge would be gone.

Coating cars with solar panels wouldn't increase the range that much as the generated energy is much lower then needed one for driving. But normally cars are standing around a lot and having them charged by it self is nice and even wouldn't require the new inductive parking sport and drive ways which are pretty expansive to build.

I'm not 100% sure about my asumptions on super capacitors but  i think getting the energy density increased to have 2000 miles range isn't as easy as using super capacitors. Any way i think using them is a great idea. From my perspective especially for the fast charging. I would love to see an electric car which i could charge for at least the next 200 miles in 5 minutes at gas stations.  Even if the capacitor is only charge to  50% to last the 200 miles this would mean i could travel as long as i want with every 2-3h having a short stop, which is nice any way. Who wants to drive 2000 miles without a break? :D And with the 100% charge from home i even have  400 miles to go..


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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/03/2015 at 12:33 point

Graphene super capacitors have some very amazing properties. If you haven't already, look up Graphene. They can hold energy very well and they charge and discharge quickly. If you attach a solar panel to the car and have one multi-celled capacitors charging and another discharging, you would never have to stop your car. I can store 120 graphene cells in a 6 inch area, this is where the density comes from. A single cell ed cap wouldn't have much, but multiply that by 120 or more and you have a LOT of energy haha!

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zakqwy wrote 06/03/2015 at 13:44 point

I think @Enno Zickler's point is that solar panels won't produce enough power to charge the other capacitor faster than the first is getting discharged. Try doing some 'napkin math'--start by writing down the total power consumption of your car at cruising speed, then figure out what volume AND mass of supercapacitor you'll need (given your assumptions above) to get x range, then see how many square feet of solar panels you'll need to make up that amount of power. Post calculations!

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Timothy Bomer wrote 06/03/2015 at 13:58 point

That sounds like a good idea. When I was talking about a 'Flux capacitor', I meant one or more capacitor would be charging while a couple others power the car lol

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