What does balancing mean about supercapacitor?

2019-05-27 [12:32]
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What does balancing mean about supercapacitor?

Voltage variations among supercapacitor cells may occur depending on each cell’s characteristics and they are controlled in VINATech modules. Voltage variation amongst cells could occur in a module depending on each Supercapacitor cell's characteristics. The variable needs to be reduced to as low as possible for the best performance. The function of reducing it is called balancing. Vinatech’s special balancing technology is applied to all Vinatech’s modules in order to make their lifetime as long as possible and utilize their capacitance as much as possible. Whether a user needs balancing or not depends on the charging condition. VINATech modules are balanced from matched products direct from the production line.

Passive vs Active balancing circuit

Balancing is not necessary if the maximum charging voltage leaves an available margin of 0.2V. For example, a maximum charging voltage for a 2.7V cell is 2.5V, then 0.2V is left vacant, so it doesn't need to be balanced. 
However, if an application charge fully to maximum voltage like 2.7V or 3.0V, then it should be balanced. 

Active balancing takes up more PCB space, so because of space constraint, we usually recommend a passive balancing. Active balancing is more costly (x2 in case and has energy needs too). If the user doesn’t want passive balancing, then identify the required charging condition. If the charging condition leaves enough voltage margin over 2.0v, then the balancing is not necessary. With enough voltage margin, the user can use a supercapacitor module without balancing as it will lead to the shortening of lifetime of the Supercapacitor.


Passive balancing

Passive balancing circuit voltage is directly proportionate to the charging and discharging voltage as it’s distributed to each cell of supercapacitor equally. Passive balancing requires less space constraints, but high current may occur a decrease of capacitance and current consumption may result in increased leakage current. 

Active Balancing

Whereas active balancing circuit works when the EDLC Voltage reaches specified voltage value of the detection IC, the active balancing circuit is then activated, in order to control the EDLC by by-passing current. Active balancing is mostly for the supercapacitor(Ultracapacitor, EDLC) protection against overvoltage. It operates under certain voltage when charging, and its leakage current is lower when the balancing circuit is not activated. Active balancing can control the operating voltage of the circuit. However, it has more space constraints and is more costly. 


Hybrid Balancing


Hybrid balancing, we can say, is a mix of both passive balancing and active balancing circuits. A hybrid circuit is beneficial when there’s a need for reducing voltage deviation, and it can protect when overvoltage during charging, which will increase life expectancy. However, the hybrid circuit may open up leakage current possibility, similar to the case of the passive circuit. The Hybrid circuit is combined one of passive and active balancing, which often requires higher cost than the other methods. Hybrid circuit can be applied when the margin of rated voltage of the EDLC (Supercapacitor) cell against operational voltage are very minimal. The Supercapacitor circuit image is the sample for your understanding.


VINATech website : vina.co.kr  Please contact us for more details.
VINATech is one of the well-known supercapacitor(Hy-Cap, Electric Double-Layer Capacitor) manufacturers and providing fuel cell material solution. Neo series is re-invented by the very best VINATech Research and development teams as the solution of anti-wetting technology.
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