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Date: 10-03-17

Supercapacitors to power your IOT

Supercapacitors coming handy to power your IOT edge systems. If the IOT needs sudden burst of power while transmitting RF signal, where there is no enough power available in the battery, the IoT unit/device can use the supercapacitors to get that extra power. Not only as a booster, super capacitors can become source of power, if there is energy harvesting feature integrated into your IOT such as solar, wireless power, or any search energy harvesting techniques.

A company called CAP-XX is offering super-capacitors exclusively for IOT applications both in prismatic and cylindrical format/structure. Available with the capacitors in the range of few farads to hundreds of farads, they can deliver output voltage of 2.7 V in case of single cell and 5.4 Vin case of dual cell . The super capacitors are designed to offer the sharpt pulse power at low ESR. CAP-XX selling these devices starting from US$ 0.5 to US$ 9.

They are available in the dimensions of  12 millimeters long and comes in two diameters: 6.3 millimeters (400 milliohms) and 8 millimeters (180 milliohms). The largest 400 Farad supercapacitor is 68 millimeters long and 35 millimeters in diameter (3 milliohms).

The operating temperature of these devices is in the range of -40°C to +65°C. These capacitors can be soldered directly to the PCB. The applications suggested include wireless sensors with energy harvesting, remote smart meters and any such devices.

To give you one more sourcing option, a company called Cellergy  is offering supercapacitors in 4 footprint options: 12x12.5mm, 17x17.5mm, 28x17.5mm and 48x30.5mm. Some more names of supercapacitor vendors in the market includes Maxwell, Nesscap Energy,  EEStor, FastCAP Systems, Advanced Capacitor Technologies, Elton, Skeleton, Axion Power,Graphene Laboratories, Optixtal, Blueshift PDX, Panasonic, and AVX.

There is also research effort to build miniaturised supercapacitor inside the silicon chip itself to power VLSI device, but it's still in the research stage. Researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland developed a hybrid nano-electrode  of nanometers thick. The micro-supercapacitor can store 0.2 joule  on a one-square-centimeter silicon chip.


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