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The Supercapacitor Advantages

The Supercapacitor Advantages

Each day brings a new technical improvements, and the demand for smaller, more portable and more functional electronics. This places pressure on energy supplies to be light and small, run for lengthy periods of time (i.e., have a lot of energy), and meet the demands of a number of high current loads (i.e., have a high energy capability). Merely put, these demands cannot be met by anybody portable power supply.

For decades, batteries have been the choosered storage machine for portable electronics, mainly because of their ability to store energy (high energy density). However batteries take a very long time to discharge and recharge, which limits their ability to deliver power. Overcoming this power deficit is tough, if not unattainable, and even newer battery technologies resembling lithium ion are nonetheless a poor resolution for high energy applications. In applications demanding high power, over-engineering the battery will rarely be the correct resolution, and will typically end in increased dimension, weight, and price, and/or reduced cycle life and energy. In different words, a magic bullet is hard to find.

What Makes Supercapacitors Super?
Supercapacitors combine the energy storage properties of batteries with the facility discharge characteristics of capacitors.

To achieve their energy density, they comprise electrodes composed of very high surface area activated carbon, with a molecule-thin layer of electrolyte. Because the quantity of energy able to be stored in a capacitor is proportional to the surface area of the electrode, and inversely proportional to the hole between the electrode and the electrolyte, supercapacitors have an extremely high energy density. They are due to this fact able to hold a very high electrical charge.

The high power density derives from the truth that the energy is stored as a static charge. Unlike a battery, there is no such thing as a chemical reaction required to charge or discharge a supercapacitor, so it could be charged and discharged very quickly (milliseconds to seconds). Equally, and once more unlike a battery, because there are no chemical reactions happening, the cost-discharge cycle lifetime of a supercapacitor is sort of unlimited.

Supercapacitor Characteristics

Charge/Discharge Time: Milliseconds to seconds
Operating Temperature: -40°C to +85C°
Working Voltage: Aqueous electrolytes ~1V; Organic electrolytes 2 – 3V
Capacitance: 1mF to >10,000F
Working Life: 5,000 to 50,000 hrs (a function of temperature and voltage)
Power Density: 0.01 to 10 kW/kg
Energy Density: 0.05 to 10 Wh/kg
Pulse Load: 0.1 to 100A
Air pollution Potential: No heavy metals
Supercapacitor Advantages

Provide peak energy and backup energy
Extend battery run time and battery life
Reduce battery size, weight and cost
Enable low/high temperature operation
Improve load balancing when used in parallel with a battery
Provide energy storage and supply balancing when used with energy harvesters
Cut pulse present noise
Lessen RF noise by eliminating DC/DC
Minimise area requirements
Meet environmental standards

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