Supercapacitors offer an alternative to using a battery in many energy storage applications, and can be used as backup power or for high-surge demand applications. Also known as ultracapacitors or electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), these devices come with many advantages, including a maintenance-free long life. Additionally, as supercapacitors don’t contain lead or other potentially harmful substances, they are compliant to EU directives such as RoHS. As the environmental impact of products becomes increasingly important, this is an essential factor to consider in new product design.
Supercapacitors can address a diverse range of applications, from long-life replacements for coin-cell batteries that back up real-time clocks, up to high capacity units that power servomotors in industrial control. In terms of energy storage, supercapacitors fit nicely into the gap between aluminium electrolytic capacitors and batteries: offering significantly greater capacitances and energy densities than conventional capacitors, but still only a fraction of the energy density offered by batteries.
Li-ion capacitors, or hybrid capacitors, are effectively a combination of the battery and supercapacitor technologies. While supercapacitors hold energy using electrostatic charge, and Li-ion batteries use an electrochemical method, Li-ion capacitors use one electrostatic electrode and one electrochemical. The result is a device with better energy density than a supercapacitor, but without the self-discharge characteristic, and higher durability (more charge-discharge cycles) than a Li-ion battery, without the potential for dangerous thermal runaway.
Our highly knowledgeable team of experienced product specialists can help you select the best supercapacitor or hybrid capacitor for your design from our world-leading suppliers, including AVX, Eaton, Kemet, Nichicon, Panasonic, Tadiran, Taiyo Yuden, TDK and Vishay.