The article at Ars Technica about a supercapacitor battery really caught my eye. Storing electrical energy is one of those age-old problems that ti seems we’re looking for answers to in both large and small systems.
According to Wikipedia, a supercapacitor isn’t a battery at all – although when you get down to “what’s it do” definitions I think it’s pretty close – it stores a electrical energy and lets you discharge it again. It just doesn’t do it with some electro chemical reaction (which is what I think of as a battery). There’s mechanical systems that do these things too – flywheels and such. They get to fight with gravity and friction to reduce efficiencies though – which apparently makes them a tad inefficient at the smaller scale of things.
I don’t know what all the choices are with storing electrical energy, but I do know what some of the failure modes can look like. A few early experiments with fast-charging rechargeable batteries and overloading capacitors made that pretty clear. I don’t know how susceptible these super-capacitors are to my style of stupid experiments that induce large exothermic results, but hopefully fairly minimal. I’m looking forward to something in this realm coming to market and getting more details on it.