Main content area

Self-discharge of a hybrid supercapacitor with incorporated galvanic cell components

Wang, Y., Qiao, X., Zhang, C., Zhou, Xiangyang
Energy 2018 v.159 pp. 1035-1045
capacitance, carbon electrodes, collectors, copper, electric power, electrolytes, energy, foil, polymers, specific energy, storage time, zinc, zinc sulfate
Supercapacitors can provide a high specific power and long cycle life but suffer a significant self-discharge limiting their application as a stand-alone energy storage device. A new hybrid supercapacitor with incorporated galvanic cell components was proposed to mitigate the self-discharge problem. The hybrid supercapacitor was similar to a conventional supercapacitor with two active carbon electrodes separated by a polymer electrolyte membrane containing 1.5 M zinc sulfate. However, a zinc foil and a copper foil were used as the current collectors for the negative and the positive electrodes respectively, which can provide a micro-current to compensate the self-discharge current. The hybrid supercapacitor exhibited a maximum specific capacitance of 55 F g− 1 and specific energy of 4.51 Wh kg−1 with a charge efficiency of 90%. The capacitance retention of the hybrid supercapacitor was 80% after 2000 cycles. The open circuit voltage of the charged hybrid supercapacitor was stable and declined slightly from initial 0.90 V–0.85 V in a month. The results demonstrate that via replacement of a pair of conventional metal current collectors with a galvanic couple the ubiquitous self-discharge problem can be significantly mitigated and the storage time can be prolonged to meet the requirement for stand-alone applications.