Ultracapacitors 101: What Do Those Words We’re Using Even Mean?

Now that we’ve discussed the mechanics of an ultracapacitor, providing an overview of how the technology works, we thought it would be helpful to create a glossary of key terms in the ultracapacitor space. Understanding the technology helps, but you won’t be able to compare products without a clear understanding of the related terminology.

Check out the definitions of must-know ultracapactior terms below and tweet us @ioxus with your questions. Don’t forget to also let us know what you think of this series and offer suggestions for other topics.

“Electric Double Layer Capacitor” Or “Supercapacitor”: simply other terms for ultracapacitor. Recall from our previous post that ultracapacitors differ from capacitors due to the fact that they are coated in activated carbon. The coating results in each electrode having two layers of charge on its surface, which explains the “double layer” description.

Capacitance: a key metric when sizing a capacitor system, capacitance is the measurement of the device’s ability to store an electric charge and is generally measured in Farads (see Farad).

Farad: the unit of measurement for capacitance. In precise terms, a Farad is the unit of charge a capacitor will accept for the potential across it to change 1 volt. (1 Farad = 1 Coulomb/Volt)

Surface Area: capacitance is directly proportional to surface area. The activated carbon coating discussed above increases the surface area of an ultracapacitor 10,000 to 100,000 times that of a simple metal sheet, thus increasing capacitance significantly.

Voltage: the electrical potential difference between two points. In simpler terms, the voltage is the total amount of energy required to move a charge divided by the magnitude of the charge. There are several voltage measurements associated with ultracapacitors:
• Voltage refers to the maximum operating voltage for an individual ultracapacitor
• Rated voltage indicates the voltage at which all performance testing was conducted
• Surge voltage is the maximum voltage that an ultracapacitor can operate at for a few seconds without causing damage or cells to open

Please be sure to check out our blog next week, where we continue to provide the definition of terms for the ultracapacitor technology.

Latest News

  • Ioxus uSTART® Battery Replacement for Heavy Equipment Increases Starting Reliability

    ONEONTA, N.Y., April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ioxus, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of ultracapacitors and energy storage products, announced today that the 24V uSTART® battery support system is now being offered as the heavy equipment industry's only drop-in replacement product that needs no special wiring. Using two group 31 batteries in series, with one 24V uSTART in parallel, users can replace their 4D battery in heavy equipment.

    The ultracapacitor-based product is designed with smart power electronics to assist in starting engines up to 50L for large off-road equipment.  Using the available Smartphone Bluetooth app, once the uSTART is connected to the batteries, users can look at the voltage of the batteries, the charge level of uSTART, initiate a jump start without connecting any wires, or put the unit into maintenance mode for safe removal or repairs.

    The goal of the uSTART system is to provide the vehicle with a start, no matter the condition of the existing batteries or external temperature. If the batteries run too low duread more...

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