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VINATech Hybrid Capacitors in Emergency Lighting: Long Life, Low Costs

2022-12-27 [13:56]
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Back-up Power in Emergency Lighting
Emergency lighting provides light in an emergency when the mains power has failed as the result of a fire or a power cut, allowing for safe evacuation from the building. Back-up power comes from either a self-contained battery a or centralized battery system, the advantages and disadvantages of which are as follows:

1. Self-Contained

Advantages:
- The installation is faster and cheaper
- Standard wiring material may be used
- Failure of mains supply due to cable burn-through will automatically trigger the affected emergency luminaire to come on
- Low maintenance costs – periodic tests and general cleaning, only, required
- Low hardware equipment costs – no requirement for extended wiring, special ventilation, etc
- The integrity of the system is greater because each luminaire is independent of the others
- System can easily be extended with additional luminaires
- No special sub-circuit monitoring requirements

Disadvantages:
- The environmental conditions will vary throughout the system and batteries may be adversely affected by a relatively high or low ambient temperature
- Battery life is limited to between 2 and 5 years, dependent upon the application
- Testing requires isolation and observation of luminaires on an individual basis

2. Central Battery Source

Advantages:
- Maintenance and routine testing are easier, with only one location to consider
- The life of a battery is between 5 and 25 years, dependent upon the type
- Environmentally stable in a protected environment; the slave luminaire can operate at relatively high or low ambient temperatures
- Large batteries are cheaper per unit of power and luminaires are usually less expensive

Disadvantages:
- High capital equipment costs
- The cost of the installation and system wiring is high because the fire-resisting cable is required for each slave luminaire
- Poor system integrity – failure of the battery or wiring circuit can disable a large part of the system
- A requirement for a ‘battery room’ to house cells and charger circuits, etc; ventilation of acid gases may also be needed
- Localised mains failure may not trigger the operation of emergency lighting in that area
- Voltage drop on the luminaire wired furthest from the central battery could become a problem

3. Electric Double-Layer Capacitors
Another option that has seen limited uptake is a self-contained product utilizing Electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs, also known as supercapacitors or ultra-capacitors). This option has the advantage of a long, maintenance-free, service life with a fast test function and rapid recharge capability but the capacitors can be large and relatively expensive compared with the battery alternatives.

4. VINATech's New Hybrid Capacitor
With the launch of the VEL1865 Hybrid Capacitor (also known as VPC, Vina Pulse Capacitor) from VINATech, there is now a better alternative for powering self-contained luminaires that overcomes the disadvantages of both the typical battery solution as wells as the EDLC approach.

Conclusion
For self-contained luminaire products the use of VINATech Hybrid Capacitors, like the VEL1865 from VINATech, offers a high energy density solution that can meet regulatory hold-up time requirements in a standard battery form factor. While also offering the long, maintenance-free, service life and short state of health test cycles provided by more expensive EDLCs.
 
These features make Hybrid Capacitors a great choice for manufacturers of emergency lighting who are looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, deliver value to their customers and help the environment.



 
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