Compact cylindrical supercapacitors power IoT designs

March 10, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
CAP-XX has developed single (2.7V) and dual-cell (5.4V) cylindrical supercapacitors that deliver high peak power and low ESR at a competitive cost for devices in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The range starts at less than US$0.50 for the smallest devices (one to five Farads) to US$9 for the largest (400 Farads). Adding these low-cost compact cylindricals to its existing thin prismatic supercapacitor line, CAP-XX now offers a wide range of small supercapacitors to power space-constrained IoT industrial and consumer devices from energy harvesting for wireless sensors to peak power support for wireless transmissions.

The cylindrical line was developed to address a broader range of the market as customers had been asking for an alternative form factor at a lower price point, said Anthony Kongats, CEO of CAP-XX. 

Using supercapacitors to handle peak power events allows designers to use smaller, cheaper, low-power batteries and extend their run-time and cycle life, or use intermittent ambient energy sources such as solar photovoltaic. Supercapacitors also enable ultra-quick device charging and wireless power transfer, and provide the backup needed for graceful shutdown and “last gasp” transmissions in mission-critical applications.

The smallest one Farad supercapacitor is 12 millimeters long and comes in two diameters: 6.3 mm (400 mΩ) and 8 mmm (180 mΩ). The largest 400 Farad supercapacitor is 68 mm long and 35 mm in diameter (3 mΩ).

The temperature range is -40°C to +65°C. Assembly is by soldering or welding (ultrasonic, laser or spot), via radial lead, solder pin or tab.

By comparison, CAP-XX’s existing prismatic supercapacitors range from US$1.80 (1.0 mm thick, 180 mF, 40 mΩ) up to US$3.50 (3.5 mm thick, 1.2 F, 20 mΩ) in 2.5V / 70° C to 5.5V / 85° C configurations.

Example applications include energy harvesting for wireless sensors, wireless HVAC sensors and actuators as well as peak power support for GSM/GSR transmission, locks and actuators, and portable drug delivery systems. They can also be used for 'last gasp' power for remote meter status transmission and sort term bridging power for battery hot swaps. 

Samples will be available in March with production scheduled to start in second quarter of 2017.

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