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Supercapacitors Boost Efficiency

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University of Waikato researchers have developed working prototypes of a supercapacitor that could enable mobile phones and laptop computers to run longer between charges. The supercapacitors are designed to absorb the waste energy from linear power supplies and reuse it.

Waikato engineer Nihal Kularatna says the researchers continue to address the issue of limiting the electrical interference generated by linear power supplies. Today's electrical equipment operates at lower voltages, and linear power supplies are capable of delivering high quality power at low efficiency.

Supercapacitors have a sizable internal surface area and electrical storage capacity, and are able to absorb and discharge electricity very rapidly. The efficiency of a low dropout regulator circuit has been improved from 42 percent to more than 80 percent, Kularatna says.

From University of Waikato
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