Supercapacitor support for modular UPS

Supercapacitor support for modular UPS

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By Nick Flaherty

The Bicker UPSI-1208 (12VDC) and Bicker UPSI-2406 (24VDC) are available in combination with the maintenance-free Supercap energy storage units Bicker BP-SUC(up to 3.6 kJ). The supplied DC consumers are reliably protected against power failures, flicker or voltage fluctuations in unstable supply networks. In case of emergency, the DC UPS system provides an exactly regulated output voltage of 12VDC or 24VDC without interruption.

The support time available with the BP-SUC supercapacitors can be several minutes, depending on the supplied load. This allows motors or actuators to be moved to a defined basic safety position or a current process step in automation can be completed. In case of prolonged failure, PC-based systems can be shut down in a controlled manner via the UPSI system and corresponding software settings, so that no data can be damaged or lost.

The modular UPS system UPSI in conjunction with maintenance-free Supercap energy storage can be used in a variety of application fields: Safety and control technology, industrial automation, embedded industrial PCs, Industry 4.0 / IIoT components, robotics, motor drives, sensors, medical and laboratory technology, kiosk and self-payment solutions, vending machines, cash and payment systems, POS / POI, self-sufficient and hard-to-access systems, mobile applications in vehicles and many more.

Unlike batteries, which store energy by the detour of a chemical reaction, supercapacitors are based on electrophysical principles and are charged and ready for use within a very short time. The high cycle stability (> 500,000 charge and discharge cycles) means the energy storage units have a long service life and are practically maintenance-free, giving long-term availability while minimising the maintenance effort. The integrated control circuit of the energy storage includes overcurrent protection and overvoltage protection (up to 30 V). The Connect / Disconnect power function ensures that the energy storage device is only activated when correctly connected to the UPSI charging and control module.

The UPSI compact charging and control module measures 105 x 68 x 17 mm ± 0.5 mm and is available in 12V and 24V DC versions and is connected to the Supercap energy storage via two wires. In addition to the energy transmission line (BAT PWR), all relevant operating data of the energy storage device are continuously monitored and controlled on the data line (BAT DATA) via I2C interface. When changing the energy storage, which is possible even during operation (hot-swapping), a battery type ID authentication is performed so that the appropriate charging and discharging parameters can be automatically set on the DC-UPS.

The intelligent PowerSharing function on the input side ensures that the upstream AC/DC power supply does not have to be oversized, but the input power is kept constant and distributed accordingly to load and Supercap charger. In other words, with low load at the output, more energy flows into the Supercap charger and vice versa.

The minimum load detection of the UPSI control unit monitors in backup mode (battery mode) the output load supplied from the energy storage system. If the load at the output falls below a certain threshold, the energy storage is automatically disconnected from the UPSI charging and control unit, so that the energy storage is not unnecessarily emptied by the DC-UPS electronics. In addition, minimum load detection ensures that after a shutdown has been initiated, the computer system is properly shut down before the reboot function initiates the system reboot and startup.

For PC-based controllers and computer systems, the integrated reboot function automatically restarts the PC system after a shutdown and a recurring supply voltage without the intervention of a service employee being necessary. In addition, a battery start function allows to manually activate the (separated) energy storage and thus initially start the system out of the battery, for example to carry out a diagnosis.

For data communication with controllers or PC-based systems, USB and RS232 interfaces are available. With aid of the HID Battery Parameter Software, monitoring and settings can be comfortably made on the DC UPS. In addition, a comprehensive instruction set enables the direct readout of sensor values ​​and the setting of parameters. The software HID-Battery-Parameter is available on the manufacturer’s website for free download.

Bicker Elektronik provides a three-year warranty on the DC UPS system UPSI, as well as a long-term availability of at least 5 years.

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