Supercapacitor R&D concentrates on graphene, metal oxide electrodes

More powerful supercapacitors based on new electrode materials are on makers' agenda.

May 02, 2017

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More powerful supercapacitors based on new electrode materials are on makers' agenda.

Performance enhancements with the use of better electrode materials have widened supercapacitor applications from consumer electronics, electric vehicles or EVs and wind power generators to the industrial, aviation and smart grid sectors. One was achieved through graphene as an alternative to activated carbon, adoption of which improves the passive component's capacity and shortens the charging period.

In mainland China, manufacturers are following developments in the line. While there are no known graphene-based supercapacitors being produced there at present, research led by academic institutions to verify their advantages is under way. The Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences made comparative studies of the two types. Based on its tests, an electric bus with activated-carbon supercapacitors can run 7km after 90 seconds of charging, while another employing graphene supercapacitors can cover 35km on a 7-second charge.

R&D on other materials is in progress. The Herbert Gleiter Institute of Nanoscience in Nanjing University of Science & Technology has come up with metal oxide inputs using H2PO4 and H2PO3 to improve electrode performance and boost supercapacitors capacity by five to 10 times over current kinds.

More breakthroughs that will enhance supercapacitors and lower their prices are expected in coming years. This, in turn, could pave the way for the component's gradual replacement of lithium batteries in EVs.

The global supercapacitor market scale reached $1.1 billion in 2014 and will ramp up to $3.5 billion in 2018, according to Xinmin Evening News. In the mainland, the annual growth rate is projected to exceed 30 percent during this period. The major local suppliers in the line include Xiamen Faratronic, Anhui Tongfeng and Fenghua High-Tech.

The products in this gallery have been handpicked by our market analyst for representing current trends in supercapacitors.

Radial type, 2.5VDC operating voltage

This radial-type supercapacitor from Kaimei Electronic Corp., DA Series model, operates on 2.5VDC and in -25 to 70 C. It has enhanced voltage holding, and quick charging and discharging characteristics.

The minimum order is 5,000 units. Delivery lead time is 60 days.

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Snap-in, for solar battery-operated circuits

Kaimei Electronic Corp. offers model DL Series, a snap-in supercapacitor for solar battery-operated circuits in road guidance flashers, motor drives in toy cars, and backup power supplies such as UPS. This fast-charging and -discharging unit operates in -25 to 60 C.

The minimum order of 1,000 units is delivered within 60 days.

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1 to 300F, for EVs & wind power generators

The TMCS01 model from Shenzhen Topmay Electronic Co. Ltd is a supercapacitor with 1 to 300F rated capacitance and -20 to 80 percent tolerance at 25 C. It has 2.7 and 3V rated and surge voltages. The discharge rate is 1,000C.

The RoHS-compliant unit operates in -25 to 70 C and lasts more than 100,000 cycles. Applications include water, gas and ammeters, solar lamps, toys, electric vehicles and wind power generators.

The minimum order is 10,000 units, with a 7-day delivery lead time.

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0.1 to 4F, 0.2 to 8F

Shenzhen Topmay Electronic Co. Ltd's model TMCS02 supercapacitor can be used to power or provide backup power toaudio and A/V devices, recorders, cameras, printers, handset scanners and telephones. Its rated capacitance range is 0.1 to 4F or 0.2 to 8F, and tolerance -20 to 80 percent at 25 C. The discharge rate is 100C.

The RoHS-compliant unit has a rated voltage of 2.7 or 5.5V and surge voltage of 3 or 6V. It operates in -25 to 70 C and lasts more than 100,000 cycles.

The minimum order is 2,000 units and the delivery lead time 7 days.

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250mA discharge current, for GPS

For GPS, model HPC1550 supercapacitor from Shenzhen Wecodo Technology Co. Ltd has 4V nominal voltage, and 250mA nominal and 2,000mA maximum continuous discharge current. Its discharge end voltage is 2.5V. The charge current is 100mA and the pulse current capacity 5,000mA. The unit has -40 to 85 C operating temperature.

The negotiable minimum order has a delivery time of 7 days.

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2,000mA pulse current capacity

This 4V supercapacitor for GPS products from Shenzhen Wecodo Technology Co. Ltd, HPC1520 model, has 50mA nominal and 500mA maximum continuous discharge current, and 2.5V discharge end voltage. The charge current is 20mA and the pulse current capacity 2,000mA. The unit operates in -40 to 85 C.

The order quantity is negotiable. Delivery is within 7 days.

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