Supercapacitors & Ultracapacitors



How They Work

Hybrid and Electric Vehicles



Super Capacitor Cordless Screwdriver

 Supercapacitors and Ultracapacitors

New Energy Storage





Super capacitors merged with batteries (hybrid battery) will become the new super battery. Just about everything that is now powered by batteries will be improved by this much better energy supply.  They can be made in most any size, from postage stamp to hybrid car battery pack. Their light weight and low cost make them attractive for most portable electronics and phones, as well as aircraft and automobiles.

BoostCap SuperCapacitorThe new ones are flexible and biodegradable and can be powered by body fluids. (Since body fluids can act as an electrolyte, the battery can be used for medical devices and could be installed into a patient fully charged but dry and feed off bodily fluids to allow it to re-power and discharge energy.  The future of the battery is here...


What are the Advantages of a Super Capacitor?

  • Virtually unlimited life cycle  - cycles millions of time -10 to 12 year life

  • Low impedance

  • Charges in seconds

  • No danger of overcharge

  • Very high rates of charge and discharge

  • High cycle efficiency (95% or more)

  • Super capacitors and ultra capacitors are relatively expensive in terms of cost per watt


SuperCapacitor Disadvantages

  • Linear discharge voltage prevents use of the full energy spectrum

  • Low energy density - typically holds one-fifth to one-tenth the energy of an electrochemical battery

  • Cells have low voltages - serial connections are needed to obtain higher voltages. Voltage balancing is required if more than three capacitors are connected in series

  • High self-discharge - the rate is considerably higher than that of an electrochemical battery.

  • Requires sophisticated electronic control and switching equipment

Double Layer Super Capacitor

Supercapacitors or UltraCapacitors were initially used by the US military to start the engines of tanks and submarines. Most applications now are in small appliances, handheld electronics and hybrid electric vehicles.

NASA has a research project to use supercapacitors in an electric bus called the Hybrid Electric Transit Bus. The energy used to start the engine and accelerate the bus is regenerated from braking. During test runs, a bus loaded with 30 supercapacitors, each of them weighing 32 kg and releasing energy of 50 kJ at 200 V managed to run for four miles.

GM Super CapacitorIn most hybrid vehicles, 42 V super capacitors are used. General Motors has developed a pickup truck with a V8 engine that uses the supercapacitor / ultra capacitor  to replace the battery. The efficiency of the engine rose by 14%. The supercapacitor supplies energy to the alternator. Toyota has developed a diesel engine using the same technology and it is claimed to use just 2.7 liters of fuel per 100 km.


Will Supercapacitors replace the battery?

A supercapacitor by itself cannot totally replace the battery. But, by merging a supercapacitor and a battery together - like a "Hybrid Battery" it will be possible for supercapcitors to replace the battery as we know it today.

Supercapacitors need batteries to store the energy and are basically used as a buffer between the battery and the device.  Supercapacitors can be charged and discharged hundreds of thousands of times where a battery cannot do that. Soon the price point will be where most every electronic device will use them. As a hybrid battery.. it will be the new super battery.


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