What Are Supercapacitors?
Supercapacitors are a hybrid energy storage medium that combine elements of capacitors and elements of chemical batteries. This combination of parts creates an energy storage system that is superior to chemical battereis (Lithium-Ion and Lead Acid).
The advantages create a storage system with extremely high cycle life (20,000 – 50,000 cycles), a very fast charge rate, and a wide operating temperature. These advantages enable supercapacitors to reduce the cost of storage to a fraction of the cost of Lithium-Ion batteries. Making supercapacitors the lowest cost of energy throughput than any other storage medium in the world.
The excellent performance and long life of supercapacitors make them less costly to operate compared to traditional batteries. In many cases, they offer 5x lower lifetime cost of energy.
A Technological Leap Forward
Supercapacitors offer significant advancements in energy storage. Just as rechargeable batteries were a major improvement over disposables by being reusable, this new technology delivers a major upgrade over current battery options
Capacitors are used extensivly
Capacitors are used in automotive, commercial and even home applicances to provide a rapid source of power for short-term high power applications. They can provide quick current boosts like the electronic ignition of your car, or your refridgerator in your kitchen. Capacitors are in more places than you might imagine.
Long Lasting - High Cycle Life
Supercapacitors get their high cycle life from their capacitor counterparts. High cycle life means as much as lasting 5 times longer than regular battereis. Consider how often you replace the battery in your phone. A supercapacitor can last up to 5 times longer, that’s 25 years compared to a 5 year battery. This high cycle life enables applications that are not financially viable with regular batteries. From utility-scale storage to micro-grid industrial applications, the potential savings are enormous.
Higher charge and discharge rates allow for fewer supercapacitors to accomplish the same work for a similar application. This can lower the initial costs.
Regular batteries degrade rapidly once put in use, losing 30% to 40% of their rated capacity during their short service life. As a result, they either have to be replaced early or the entire system must be over-engineered to compensate.
Supercapacitors lose little of their rated capacity during their service life, which can be as little as 25 years and as much as 50 years.
Most supercapacitor operators report that their systems need zero maintenance after installation. They just set it and forget it!
More Usable Capacity
Regular batteries can only be discharged a fraction of their rated capacity. This is called Depth of Discharge (DoD). Discharging a regular battery lower than 70% can permanently damage the battery and reduce it’s lifespan. This isn’t the case with supercapacitors, which can charge and discharge their entire rated capacity, day in and day out, year after year without reducing their usable life.
If batteries and supercapacitors are equally toxic for a given KWh rating, the one with a longer lifecycle will naturally be more environmentally friendly. But Supercapacitors are longer lasting and use graphene a non-toxic carbon mineral.
Comparable Price per KWh
Despite all the advantages supercapacitors offer, they cost roughly the same (and sometimes less) as chemical batteries for a given amount of storage. This begs the question: “Why would I use anything else for stationary storage?”