new family of high-power prismatic ultracapacitors could see action in a wide
array of new applications, ranging from automobiles and garbage trucks to
trains and robots.
Designed and manufactured by Ioxus Inc., the new ultracapacitors could serve
as an alternative, or as an adjunct to, batteries in electric vehicles. The new
devices have particular appeal in other areas of the transportation sector, especially in applications that need sudden
bursts of electric power.
many applications, you could pair the ultracapacitors with other sources, such
as a battery or a fuel cell," says Robert Jaworski, chief strategy officer for
Ioxus. "The ultracapacitors would provide the power portion of the power-energy
equation, and the batteries would supply the energy."
The ultracapacitor family includes three
prismatic products ranging in capacitance from 1,000 F (Farads) to 5,000 F at
2.7V. The high-capacitance 5,000-F product is said to be one of the
highest-capacitance prismatic ultracapacitors on the market. Maximum power
produced by the 5,000-F unit is 10.85 kW/kg; specific energy is 6.03 W-hr/kg.
Jaworski says the new ultracapacitors could
also serve in applications by themselves, without batteries. In garbage trucks,
which must stop and start every hundred feet or so, as well as in material handling
robots, ultracapacitors could supply intermittent power. "Robots make
repetitive motions, and they have to slow down and stop," he says. "Right now,
they stop, lose the energy and release it as heat. That energy could be
captured in an ultracapacitor and used for the return-motion of the robot arm."
In public transportation, such as trains and
buses, the ultracapacitors could also provide power after being recharged by overhead
lines at intermittent stops.
In smart grids, Jaworski says, the
ultracapacitors could also supply energy to help offset short-duration
couldn't do these kinds of applications with batteries because they need more
time to recharge," he says. "These ultracapacitors can recharge very quickly."