Imagine if you could charge your cellphone within a few seconds. What if your electric car could fuel up in just a few minutes? The technology of rapid-fire supercapacitors is not a new concept. These power-ups not only charge faster compared to batteries but also last longer. Supercapacitors from renowned designers and manufacturers like Cap-XX have several other advantages, making them a great alternative to batteries.
What Supercapacitors are?
Supercapacitors have high capacitance with low voltage limits, with functions lying somewhere between rechargeable batteries and electrolytic capacitors. This means that they
- Charge faster than batteries
- Can keep more energy stored than electrolytic capacitors
- Have a much longer lifespan with more charge and discharge cycles than batteries
The lifespan of supercapacitors can be anywhere between 100,000 to a million charge/discharge cycles.
Benefits of Supercapacitors over Batteries
To store the same amount of energy that a battery can, a supercapacitor needs to be four times bigger in size. However, they compensate for this drawback by charging at a much higher speed. Their charging time is 1,000 times that of batteries.
Some electronic toys using supercapacitors charge within a few seconds. Some car manufacturers are also looking forward to implementing supercapacitors in their electric cars. Instead of taking hours to charge, such vehicles will charge just in a couple of minutes. Supercapacitors have wide-ranging operating temperatures ranging from -40°F to +150°F.
As compared to batteries, supercapacitors are more useful in different power-stabilising applications as well, such as power buffers and backup systems. They save money by offering uninterrupted power supplies when used in the place of batteries.
Wider Applications of Supercapacitors
Supercapacitors are well-suited for applications that require frequent charge/discharge cycles and extreme temperatures for operation. Some of their applications include:
Hybrid Supercapacitor-Batteries: In this arrangement, the fast-charging time of supercapacitors can be combined with the long-term storage capability of batteries, thereby offering advantages of both. As a result, you get a perfect balance between range and charge time. They may also help improve the efficiency of regenerative braking in electric cars, construction equipment, hybrid trains, etc.
Public Transport: Hybrid buses and cars can benefit significantly from the wide operating temperatures of supercapacitors. They ensure that the vehicle keeps working well even in extremely cold or hot seasons. China already uses hybrid buses with supercapacitors, which boost acceleration under all weather conditions.
Extension of Run Times: Cap-XX supercapacitors can extend the run time of consumer electronics, like mobile phones, laptops, etc. They can also stabilise the power supply to these devices, thereby keeping them safe from fluctuating loads. Power tools such as electric drills can also benefit a lot with fast charging times of supercapacitors.
SRAMs: Small supercapacitors are used for SRAMs (Static Random-Access Memory) as a system of backup power. They are used in a variety of consumer-grade applications where prolonged life cycle and quick recharging are required, such as professional grade camera flash, MP3 players, etc.
Telecommunications: In the field of telecommunications, supercapacitors support highly reliable operation with features like parallel type UPS, battery backup, and DC-DC converter.
Since supercapacitors have several advantages like wide operating temperature range, fast charging, and longer lifespan, they prove to be effective alternatives to batteries.