Work by scientists at the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has produced a new lead-free high temperature ceramic capacitor. Heat is produced whenever a high level of electrical charge is moved continually to and from a capacitor. Cooling systems are sometimes necessary to ensure conventional capacitors operate within their design envelope. The research for this new high temperature capacitor was funded by Technology Strategy Board's Low Carbon Vehicles programme and the National Measurement Office. They identified the development of an efficient high temperature capacitor as a crucial element in the future design of both pure electric and hybrid vehicles.
This new ceramic capacitor employs a novel high-energy density HITECA dielectric which ensures stable capacitor characteristics at temperatures of 200°C and above.
In addition to its role in the future design of automobile power control design, HITECA capacitors could also be used to advantage in high temperature environments in the aerospace, power, oil and gas sectors. It is also suited to high energy application, for example, pulsed power where energy is stored and released as a high power pulse.