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Saturday, August 12, 2023

A Simple Supercapacitor Design for Mastering Fundamentals David S. Soriano

 Before all else, fundamentals must be clear and understood . Would Faraday use the above design? Unequivocally, yes. A plastic cup with a circular copper cathode inserted. A current collector wire extends through a small aperture. A bed of ground/ sieved activated carbon/ graphite (treated with aq. sodium sulfate ) is packed tightly above the copper. An aluminum weighing pan is placed in the carbon bed and serves as the anode. There is no paper separator; the carbon serves this function. The distance between the electrodes, the carbon particle size, the volume of aq. sodium sulfate, the concentration of it, the area of the electrodes all are important variables in the cell performance. About 15 hrs optimizing the cell. I charge the cell at about 2.5-3.0V/ 100 mA ( too much current destroys the cell) . Five cycles of charge/ discharge begins to see the cell function well. It holds a potential around 1.3-1.5 V for a few minutes before dropping down to about 0.5V. Once students optimize a cell, they are ready for using instrumentation for analysis and variation in cell construction. This cell is a symmetric supercap. A simple cell design to allow efficient study of a very important area of "energy storage". Mastery of four chords on a piano can lead to many , many popular melodies. Michael Faraday would make discoveries with this cell.

I hope you will consider creating such a cell for study and variation!   Be patient, it takes some effort and concentration.  Cover the cell ( I use a cap which comes with this this type of cup) when not in use or the water will evaporate. Do not use too much aq. electrolyte at first. Good luck!  I will post images of e-load, power density, energy density, capacitance, etc. as I progress. 

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