Can Supercapacitors Surpass Batteries for Energy Storage?2019-09-06 [16:24]
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Supercapacitors are double-layer capacitors that own high capacitance but low voltage limits. Supercapacitors store more electrical energy of the farads(F) rating at an electrode-electrolyte interface than electrolytic capacitors. These consist of two metal plates coated only with a porous material known as activated carbon. As a result, they have a larger area for storing more charge.
Supercapacitors have many advantages. For example, their low equivalent series resistance (ESR) provides high power density and high load currents allowing them to charge almost instantly in seconds. Excellent thermal performance delivers energy at temperatures as low as –40°C.
They have a long lifecycle that can be cycled hundreds of thousands times without huge performance change. The lifetime of supercapacitors is 10 to 20 years, and after about 10 years, its capacity can be reduced by about 20%. Their low energy density, on the other hand, cannot let them used as a continuous power source. Therefore, it is recommended to use a battery pack with a supercapacitor in applications where both high energy density and high power density are required.
The single cell voltage of VINATech Hy-Cap supercapacitors is 2.7v and 3.0v, and if a higher voltage is needed, the cells must be connected in series into 5.4v or 6.0v 2 series modules or you can ask VINATech sales team to design customized module.
Supercapacitors are used in many power-management applications requiring many rapid charge/discharge cycles for short-term power needs. Some of these applications include:
• Voltage stabilization in start/stop systems
• Electronic door locks in the event of power failures
• Regenerative braking systems
• Distribution microgrid
• Medical devices
• Energy harvesting
• Consumer electronics
• Kitchen appliances
• Real-time clock backup
• Utility meters
• Backup power
• Grid stability
• Wind energy
• Energy efficiency and frequency regulation
• Remote power for sensors, LEDs, switches
• Memory-backup SRAM, NVDIMM
• Burst-mode power delivery
Other companies are developing supercapacitors with interesting applications, too.
VINATech, a supercapacitor manufacturing company and the comprehensive provider for fuel cell materials, offers supercapacitor solutions such as single cylindrical small and large cells, and 2-series and customized modules. For example, its 16V Supercapacitor Module provides frequent-charge/discharge for wind energy systems. It doesn’t require monitoring since the module has built-in cell balancing.
Maxwell Technologies’ supercapacitors are used for regenerative-braking energy storage in the Beijing subway system. China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. (CRRC-SRI) leverages Maxwell’s 48-V modules (Fig. 5) in two sets of regenerative-braking energy-storage devices for the system’s No. 8 line.
Though a single supercapacitor cell will provide 2.7 v and 3.0v, higher voltages can be achieved by connecting several supercapacitors in series. Like lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors in a stack might not have the same capacitance due to manufacturing or uneven ageing. Three or more capacitor strings require voltage balancing to ensure a long operating life, preventing overvoltage by keeping the voltage on each cell as low as possible to achieve the total stack voltage required.
Based on all the inherent advantages, supercapacitors should help reduce the costs to the customer by minimizing the number of batteries needed, as well as the frequency of battery replacement.
Edited and Summarized by Heidi Kim, VINATech e-marketing manager.
Source : Maria Guerra, ElectronicDesign.com
VINATech is the leading and comprehensive provider of fuel cell solution, Catalyst Support, Pt/C Catalyst, and MEA with secured the carbon nanofiber(CNF) technology from 2002. VINATech, as one of well-known supercapacitor(Hy-Cap, Electric Double-Layer Capacitor) manufacturer, Neo series of Hy-Cap supercapacitor is re-invented by the very best VINATech own Research and development teams as the solution of anti-wetting technology.
Fuel cell materials and solution, please contact Carbon@vina.co.kr
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