San Diego, Calif. Maxwell Technologies, Inc. has unveiled its first BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor in a standard battery-sized package. Maxwell said it's the first company to offer ultracapacitors packaged in an industry standard form factor.
Maxwell expects the new DCell BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors, packaged in a battery-sized "D" cell, to help drive market adoption and standardization of the devices, reduce manufacturing costs and simplify integration of the technology.
The cost of integrating ultracapacitors into new designs has hindered mass adoption, said Bobby Maher, director of technical sales for Maxwell. By standardizing the ultracapacitor product line, it can reduce manufacturing costs by more than 50 percent, he said.
A standard ultracapacitor package based on a battery size also provides designers with improved ease of use because there are many devices designed around battery shapes, Maher said. In addition, on the manufacturing side it allows Maxwell to use standard battery cases, which will also reduce costs, he said.
"Our goal is to eventually develop the market where there are standard dimensions for all ultracapacitors so customers don't have to custom design every piece of equipment that use these components," Maher said.
Ultracapacitors are used as a power solution for applications requiring backup energy or pulses of power in a variety of applications including automotive, renewable energy, consumer electronics, space and wireless transmissions.
These components can be used in conjunction with batteries to extend battery life, and provide peak load buffering for power protection/backup and bridging to backup, as well as provide more efficient power delivery, said the company.
"Alkaline batteries, for example, don't like to be pulsed at high power. By using ultracapacitors together with the batteries they can provide the power the batteries need for short bursts," Maher said.
He said its possible to prolong battery life by a factor of three times, for example, by using an ultracapacitor with a battery in a digital camera.
The key benefits of Maxwell's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors include ten times the power and longevity of standard batteries, low maintenance and reliable operation in extreme temperatures and voltages.
The new DCell offers a capacitance of 350 farads (DCC, 25°C) and is rated at 2.5 volts. Like batteries, the DCell devices can be used in series for higher voltages. Constructed of aluminum, the module measures 61.5 x 33 mm (L x OD), similar to EN 60086-2 and EN 60285 sizing.
"Our electrodes use carbon as the base which allows for a large surface area. This permits you to pack farads into a small package unlike electrolytics which offer capacitance values in microfarads," Maher said.
The ultracapacitors also offer a 10-year life expectancy and more than 500,000 duty cycles. They are resistant against reverse polarity and offer an ultra-low internal resistance so energy is easily collected and stored for reuse.
Applications for the DCell include automotive subsystems, power tools, industrial applications and fuel cells. The ultracapacitors can also be used in industrial applications where pulse power is critical for a soft shutdown in emergency situations, and in windmill pitch control systems.
The company plans to offer the ultracapacitor line in standard smaller cell sizes in the future. Some of those will focus heavily on consumer applications where a key benefit is extending battery life. Applications include actuators, digital cameras, memory boards, personal transponders, and utility meters.
Available now, pricing for the DCell is approximately $15.00 each.
Call (858) 503-3331