COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Supercapacitorsis projected to reach US$4 billion by 2025, driven by the robust demand for efficient energy storage solutions beyond the conventional battery. As energy storage deployments rise in order to sustain a civilization founded on the consumption of large quantities of energy, the focus is shed on efficient technology solutions. With distributed energy emerging into the future of electricity generation and distribution, supercapacitors are finding increasing use as resiliency enhancers in microgrids. Innovations in graphene additionally promise to overthrow the quick discharge drawback of supercapacitors and spur greater adoption in renewable energy microgrids. Also with communications and electronics becoming increasingly untethered (wireless), there exists an urgent need for efficient portable power solutions. Conventional electrochemical battery solutions such as Nickel-Metal Hydride, Lithium Ion, and Lithium Polymer technologies have their fair share of drawbacks and fall short of meeting the power delivery requirements of modern technologies. Few of the drawbacks of current battery technologies include faster wear and tear as chemicals lose potency over time; require circuit protection against overcharging and discharging; have longer charging cycle time; prone to aging which reduces the charge efficiency; lithium-ion are riskier to transport in large quantities; higher cost-to-energy ratio; among others. While batteries are efficient in supplying low and steady power levels, supercapacitors are effective in storing charge for later use with virtually zero leakage rate and series resistance. Also, extracting pulsed power (short bursts of high power) from batteries decreases the lifespan and efficiency of a battery. Pulsed currents with their high RMS value increases battery losses and significantly reduces battery runtime. Supercapacitors, also known as Ultracapacitors are gaining in prominence as an attractive alternate technology capable of overthrowing the shortfalls and performance gap of conventional batteries. Years of refining technology innovation have helped supercapacitors progress steadily towards achieving successful commercialization in key end-use industries, such as, energy, automobiles, medical devices and consumer electronics. This alternative energy storage technology which was hitherto bogged down by a high cost structure and complexities in manufacturing, today stands at the vanguard of an era of practical usage. Benefits of supercapacitors include ability to balance lower energy storage capacity with faster charge and discharge times; wider-ranging operating temperatures (-40F to +150F); offers high capacitance (From 1 mF to >10,000F); longer service and long life (approximately 10 to 15 years as compared to 5-10 years of Li-ion battery); unlimited cycle life; eco-friendly and ability to meet environmental standards; rapid charging rate within a few seconds; easy installation and interfacing with other devices. Although continuous technology innovations are helping increase the safety and capability of supercapacitors, the technology is not expected to completely replace batteries which still continue to have cost and size advantages. Lithium ion batteries have higher energy densities over 20 times higher when compared to a superconductor and are capable of storing 30 times more energy than their weight. In comparison, supercapacitors have very high power density which means energy can be released rapidly in powerful bursts and can be charged quickly. Combining both the technologies into a hybrid technology is gaining in prominence. Battery-supercapacitor based hybrid energy storage systems (HESS) are especially gaining in prominence in residential energy storage applications.