|| Ultracapacitor Basics|
Ultracapacitors – fundamentals
Ultracapacitors are energy storage devices that possess a combination of high-power density, long operational life and the ability to charge and discharge very rapidly. Ultracapacitors offer energy storage and power delivery solutions the ability to combine rapid charge ⁄ discharge capabilities associated with film and electrolytic capacitors and energy storage capacity generally associated with batteries. Ultracapacitors’ energy storage and power delivery mechanisms involve no chemical reaction, so they can be charged and discharged hundreds of thousands to millions of times with minimal performance degradation. This ability to store energy, deliver bursts of power and perform reliably for many years with little or no maintenance makes ultracapacitors an option for a range of power-consuming devices and systems.
The market opportunity for ultracapacitors includes braking energy recuperation and torque-augmentation systems for hybrid-electric buses, trucks and autos and electric trains, vehicle power network stabilization and d istributed power nodes to support electronic subsystems, including power steering and brakes and electric air-conditioning. Ultracapacitors have advanced to commercial production in transport applications, such as hybrid-electronic transit buses and industrial electronics applications, such as wind energy, telecommunications and automated utility meter reading systems.
Ultracapacitors, also known as double layer electrochemical capacitors (EDLC) or supercapacitors, store energy electrostatically by polarizing an organic salt solution within a sealed package.
Ultracapacitors – advantages and disadvantages
Ultracapacitor energy storage has several advantages and disadvantages comparing to batteries.
- Very high rates of charge and discharge
- Little degradation over hundreds of thousands of cycles
- Good reversibility
- Low toxicity of materials used
- High cycle efficiency (95% or more)
- The amount of energy stored per unit weight in first generation ultracapacitors is considerably lower than that of an electrochemical battery (3-5 W•h/kg for an ultracapacitor compared to 40-120 W•h/kg for a battery).
- The voltage varies with the energy stored. To effectively store and recover energy requires sophisticated electronic control and switching equipment.
We understand ultracapacitor to be not substitution of battery but a complementary device which will compensate battery (or other power source) drawback.