Engineers in Tuscaloosa unveiled "the world's most innovative energy storage system" Thursday and said with enough support and vision, it could "electrify the nation" and fundamentally change how people charge electric vehicles, power their homes and more.

The big reveal was hosted at SWJ Technologies' North American headquarters, which opened on University Boulevard in Alberta in 2021.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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There, SWJ CEO Wolfgang Kneer joined founding partner Markus Jurditsch and managing member Stefan Hartmann to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the company, the 14th anniversary of their entry into the U.S. market, and to unveil their new "wall" of 100 connected supercapacitors.

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"What we are going to unveil - it's something that is revolutionizing the electric market," Kneer said.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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The system introduced Thursday is a wall of 100 connected supercapacitors, or SuperCaps, which are not a new invention but have not been effectively combined like this before.

SWJ said a SuperCap unit is not sufficient to support a supercharger for an electric vehicle or for use in large-scale electrical storage devices with residential and commercial applications.

A wall of 100 SuperCaps, though, with the flow of electricity "balanced" by patented SWJ technology, has the potential to change the entire electric landscape.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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"If you drive an electric vehicle and you drive it from Tuscaloosa to Atlanta, you probably get 220 miles of range then you have to charge, so you go probably to a supercharger and you're happy that probably in the next 45 to 50 minutes, you can charge that vehicle up to around 80 percent," Kneer said. "Now just imagine you could do that in 10 minutes, and you could leave with a full charge. And just imagine that sort of electrification goes further and could include trains, buses, boats and ships -- we have a technology that could actually support that."

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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Developed by SWJ engineer Joachim Sauerborn, Kneer said their power wall will lead to faster, safer, cleaner charging without the fire risks and environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries. He said SuperCaps are made with about 3 percent of the rare earth materials required by Lithium Ion cells inside the competing Tesla Powerwall.

"We would have a technology that is not hazardous, has no leaks, cannot catch fire," Kneer said. "You could even shoot a bullet at it and it would not explode."

SWJ said their wall of SuperCaps could see widespread adoption for consumer and industrial applications.

"We could use that technology to charge any battery-powered tool in construction, a hand drill or a saw that you normally have to charge for an hour to have usage again - we could charge it in less than five minutes," Kneer said.

Hospitals or homeowners could use the system to replace generators, he said, and tests reportedly show the SWJ SuperCap wall can store three to four times more electricity than the current Tesla Powerwall, so a single unit could meet big demands like running an air-conditioner in the heat of a Southern summer.

"Compared to what is on the market, this is actually the next revolution - an industrial revolution by itself. It has so much potential in all kinds of applications that I would say this is the next step in the future," Kneer said. "With the knowledge of what we have invented here, your support and the applications we can see, we could electrify the nation and we could do it safely."

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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SWJ also unveiled a new piece of public art in front of their building on University Boulevard - Kneer said it is the product of a collaboration between the tech company and students at the neighboring Alberta School of Performing Arts.

The striking statue, consisting of nine bars on a central pole that spin freely in the wind, is a monument to the lives lost and the devastation caused by the April 27, 2011 tornado that leveled Alberta.

For more from West Alabama industries, the advancements they're making and their impact around the world, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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