Powerbox launches supercapacitor technology

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The S-CAP BOOST technology provides backup and peak power by combining the latest supercapacitor technology with intelligent control and monitoring. This is particularly suitable for high energy peaks for short periods or emergency backup purposes in applications where due to safety regulations, ithium Ion or acid batteries are not allowed.

S-CAP BOOST can be configured to charge and monitor supercapacitor banks to work as UPS, delivering backup power to allow safety operations to take place before shutdown or delivering high peak power for a short period without disturbing the main source or discharging/damaging the system battery in applications such as industrial or medical lasers, electric motor boosters or X-ray emission elements. 

Compared to lithium ion cells with a lifetime of 500 to 1,000 cycles, supercapacitors can sustain from 500,000 to 20,000,000 cycles, making that technology extremely relevant for applications requiring large amounts of charge /discharge cycles with high energy such as industrial or medical lasers with very tight control of the supercapacitors’ charge in order to optimize the energy stored between each cycle and high levels of safety and reliability.

Critical applications operating in hostile or confined environments are strictly regulated in terms of chemical and other hazardous risks, reducing or forbidding certain type of batteries. Those applications must have a power backup long enough to run alarms and safety shutdown processes. The S-CAP BOOST technology tightly controls the charging of the supercapacitors, from a single 2.8V cell to a wide range of assemblies delivering a specific voltage and energy required for a given application.

One example of a product built using Powerbox’s S-CAP BOOST technology is a 2500W backup unit developed for an industrial process-control computer installed in a very restricted area. Housed in a 19 inch 2U chassis, the 29F-54V-60A integrates 22 supercapacitors totaling 29 Farads and has a capacity of 2500W during 5 seconds at full load and 30 seconds at half-load. To optimize the cells charge, the 29F-54V-60A integrates a DC/DC converter with current control, guaranteeing the supercapacitors are properly charged to deliver full power when required. The unit includes active charging cells control with load balancing, cell health monitoring and alarms. Alarms signals including Vcell-high, Vcell-low, Vcell-zero and temperature are available via a physical interface, with digital control and monitoring being an alternative option.

“The number of applications requiring emergency backup or high peak current are growing, and integrating supercapacitors within power supplies is becoming an extremely reliable and well suited option to be considered by system architects.” said Patrick Le Fèvre, Powerbox’s Chief Marketing and Communication Officer. “Powerbox’s S-CAP BOOST is a great platform for the future and we foresee an impressive number of applications for supercapacitor energy storage technology, and not only for electrical vehicles.”


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