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Christopher Bruce2013-10-17 13:46:43

Volvo Developing Carbon Fiber Panels That Store Energy Like a Battery

It uses super capacitors sandwiched between the body panels

 
 
Slideshow
The plenum cover alone weighs 50% less than the conventional car

VolvoVolvoVolvoSweden, 1927 > present49 models
4537 photos
6 videos
is participating in a research project that has the potential of revolutionizing hybrid cars. It is developing a lightweight structural material that can store energy like a battery. In theory, it would mean that hybrids would no longer need batteries because their electrical charge would be stored in the car’s body panels.

The material sandwiches super capacitors between carbon fiber

The material sandwiches super capacitors between carbon fiber

© photo courtesy of: Volvo

The material combines carbon fiber, nano structured batteries and super capacitors to make body panels lighter, stronger and able to store energy. The carbon fiber sandwiches structural super capacitors embedded in it. It allows large panels like the door panels, trunk lid and hood to store energy. For the test, brake energy regeneration and being plugged into the electrical grid will be used to charge the car.

The project will run over three-and-a-half years and use a Volvo S80S80 Gen.2Volvo S80 Gen.2Sweden, 2006 > present174 versions
203 photos
as the test car. At the moment, only the trunk and plenum cover are being tested on the S80 with the material but more will be added over the course of the project.  The plenum cover alone is 50% lighter than the conventional unit but is also supplying power to the car’s 12v electrical system.

The project is being researched by Volvo, the Imperial College London, ETC Battery and Fuel Cells, the Swedish Hybrid Centre and other groups, and it is partially funded by the European Union. Volvo is the only automaker involved.

 

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