Supercapacitors have potential to grow 128% to a USD836m market in 2018, says Lux Research

Supercapacitors have potential to grow 128% to a USD836m market in 2018, says Lux Research

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

An emerging energy storage solution that bridges the gap between conventional capacitors and rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors will grow based mainly on adoption in transportation applications like hybrid buses and micro-hybrids. Consumer electronics and wind turbines make up the other significant opportunities. According to the study, in order to reach the technology’s full commercial potential, innovations in electrode materials are needed to drive down cost and improve performance.

Lux Research analysts examined the current applications where supercapacitors have strong value, and the outlook for materials, cell, and system performance and cost improvements that may enable bigger and better opportunities down the road.

What comes out is that materials innovation will lead to a 15% fall in cell prices – from $0.0096/Farad today to $0.0082/Farad in 2018, thanks to incremental performance improvements and manufacturing efficiency gains. High-voltage operation at 3.5 V instead of 2.7 V could lower cell prices another 40%.

The key material inside supercapacitors is active carbon, with the standard grade today providing capacitance of 100 F/g and costing around $28/kg. However, developers are pursuing higher capacity materials like graphene and nanostructured carbon.

Another finding is that start-ups like Cap-XX, Paper Battery and Graphenix Development are trying to pair a supercapacitor with a battery in order to optimize power use in consumer electronics. But supercapacitors do not yet present a strong value proposition in most applications, and the market will be just $160 million in 2018.

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