Electronic Design

Standardized D Cell Ultracapacitor Promises Lower Costs

Ultracapacitor technology steps forward with the D Cell Boostcap (DCAP series). Based on industry-standard D cell battery dimensions, it is 61.5 mm long and has an outside diameter of 33 mm, as per the EN60086-2 and EN60285 battery standards.

An ultracapacitor is an electrochemical double-layer device that delivers up to 10 times the power and longevity of a battery. It's based on the polarization of an electrolyte and features high-surface-area electrodes separated by an extremely small charge. Also, it's more reliable than a battery at extreme temperatures, needs less maintenance, and minimizes environmental issues related to battery disposal. It's often used for battery boosting, peak-load buffering, and efficient power delivery.

Developer Maxwell Technologies claims that standardization will drive down manufacturing costs by 50%. This would bring the average unit price to the $15 range, down from last year's $30 range. It also will make ultracapacitors easier to integrate into applications, like automotive and heavy-duty vehicle subsystems, rail system power, windmill pitch-control systems, and wireless networks.

"High cost has been a primary hindrance to mass adoption of ultracapacitors," says Bobby Maher, director of technical sales. "Standardization will reduce costs by orders of magnitude by increasing volume manufacturing, speeding up market integration, and driving market growth."

DCAPs are rated for 500,000 duty cycles and a 10-year life. They're available in 350-F ratings at 2.5 V and 25°C, 20-A currents (5-second discharge), ultra-low internal resistance of 0.0032 Ω ±25% at dc, and an operating-temperature range of −40°C to 65°C. They're resistant to polarity reversal as well.

Maxwell Technologies Inc.
(858) 503-3331

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TAGS: Automotive
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