Home Featured Articles High-Capacitance Supercapacitors Suit Extensive Application Fields

High-Capacitance Supercapacitors Suit Extensive Application Fields

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by Yusuke Tanaka and Yoshiyuki Tabata of the Planning and Promotion Section, High Performance Power Device Dept., Chemical Device Group of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. offers its DMH, DMT, and DMF Series supercapacitors that feature low equivalent series resistance (ESR) and high capacitance (up to 1,000mF).  Compared to similar supercapacitors, most of which serve simply as electricity storage devices with higher capacitance than the standard alternative, the device has the industry’s lowest ESR level and can discharge electricity with a large output of watts.  When Murata’s supercapacitors are used as auxiliary power supplies—for assistance, during peak output or backup—the battery’s and power supply unit’s size decrease, energy loss can be reduced, and a high-output function is achieved.

Standard Supercapacitor Usage

The low-ESR and high-capacitance supercapacitor is used as an auxiliary power supply for assistance during peak output or backup (Figure 1).  Additionally, it can be used in several applications, including reducing the load of a battery or serving as a maintenance-free power supply in combination with a power generation element.  It can help reduce the size of a power supply, achieve higher functionality, and save energy.

Figure 1: Auxiliary power supply for peak output

When the supercapacitor is used as an auxiliary power supply during peak output, it can reduce the size of supply units, add a higher output function, and improve the overall performance (Figure 2). Sample applications include a peak-output auxiliary power supply for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), compact DC motor devices, gas and water smart meters, and Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) systems.

Figure 2: Auxiliary power supply for backup

Murata’s supercapacitor lets users achieve a high-output backup in a confined space by taking full advantage of its long life, lower ESR, and smaller size compared to a battery. Notably, it can be used as a memory backup for solid-state drives (SSD), programmable logical controllers (PLC), and communication devices.

The low-ESR and high-capacitance features of Murata’s supercapacitor can be used to improve device functions and stabilize operations by leveling large fluctuations of a power voltage line. It can be used as a power supply for audio equipment, various communication devices, portable printers, and security and healthcare devices (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Battery load reduction

The tool can serve as a maintenance-free power supply by utilizing its long-life feature with numerous power generation elements. Murata’s supercapacitor can also minimize energy loss caused by an unstable input and high output through its low-ESR feature. For example, it can be used as a power supply for a sensor network system and the Internet of Things (IoT) device using energy harvesting (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Energy storage device

For SSDs

When used as backup for enterprise SSDs (SAS, SATA, and PCIe), Murata’s supercapacitor saves space by reducing the required number of tantalum capacitors and aluminum electrolytic capacitors (Figure 5).  The energy that can be stored in a Murata supercapacitor 470mF product is 100 times higher than high-capacitance tantalum capacitors.  When discharging is performed from 4.2 to 1.5V at 5W, the supercapacitor can supply backup power for approximately 0.5 seconds.

Figure 5: Application example of supercapacitor for SSD backup

For Battery-Operated Audio Devices

The supercapacitor can balance the power supply of high-end portable audio devices.  It also contributes to sound quality improvement by preserving the power supply line (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Application example of supercapacitor for audio amplifier

For Gas, Water Smart Meters 

When Murata’s supercapacitor is used as an auxiliary power supply for communications and valve opening and closing, it extends the 15-year life of a primary battery to 20 years. It can use the energy stored in a battery efficiently because it has low ESR and low loss in a low-temperature environment (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Application example of supercapacitor for smart meters

For LEDs

The device can be used in the LED flash of digital still cameras and digital video cameras, and LED fire alarm beacons to improve function by facilitating light emission through the high current (Figure 8). When LEDs are used for the camera flash, the supercapacitor provides longer life and reduces the size of the circuit. Such an application makes it possible to change the light emission time and brightness with more flexibility and a continuous shooting function.

Figure 8: Application example of supercapacitor for LED flash

Additionally, it enables discharge for approximately one second with a potential difference from 5.5 to 2.5V when a DMF Series 1,000mF product is discharged at 4A.

Conclusion

This article introduced various applications and examples of low-ESR and high-capacitance supercapacitors that make the most of their advantages.

Murata continues to work on developing even smaller products with lower ESR so that the devices can have higher functionality, smaller size, and energy-saving features.

About Murata 

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of ceramic-based passive electronic components and solutions, communication modules and power supply modules. Murata is committed to the development of advanced electronic materials and leading edge, multi-functional, high-density modules. The company has employees and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. For more information, visit Murata’s website at www.murata.com.

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