I first read about supercapacitors (Ars Technica-2007) some time back when gas prices were starting to reach an all time high. The Summer of 2008 everyone wanted to own a battery powered car, or hybrid drive car. Many writers were speculating then about the car of the future. All the hype surround hydrogen fuel cells was proven to be premature. But Tesla Motors was showing off what you could do with off the shelf Lithium ion batteries. And there were some announcements of new materials being used to create a possible adjunct to the Lithium ion cells. It was called a Super capactior.
In the time since Ars Technica wrote the article about supercapcitors, Zenn has created a car using the EEStor supercapacitor technology
In the rest of the high tech manufacturing world the electronics industry has recently adopted the supercapacitor as well. Why? Well, as this article from the Register states, more restrictions are being placed on Lithium ion batteries after some unfortunate accidents were splashed in picture form all over the Internet. But more than that, replacing failed lithium ion batteries on disk controllers is very inconvenient when you are a customer at a Lights Out style data center. In expensive flash memory has been around for a while now. And I have wondered when disk controller manufacturers might start using it for the high end disk controllers. Enter the Adaptec RAID controller with super capacitor backed Flash memory. This device should handle any amount of power outages and still keep all your disk writes from being corrupted. And the recharge cycle rate with a supercapacitors is much faster than any battery technology currently manufactured. So after full power is recovered, the recharge cycle is short enough to get full safety almost immediately.
Adaptec has done away with the need for battery back-up of its RAID controller cards by changing to a NAND flash cache and capacitor set up.