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The joys and worries of the supercapacitor energy storage industry

by:GREEN TECH     2021-04-01

A bus can be fully charged in one minute, and it can travel 6 kilometers after each charge. The financial documentary 'Five Year Plan' vividly describes the world's leading clean energy devices made in China. Great changes brought about by the transportation industry.

As an energy storage device with special performance between traditional capacitors and batteries, it has subverted energy-related fields with various excellent characteristics such as short charge and discharge time, long cycle life, and hundreds of thousands of times of repeated charge and discharge. The inherent impression of energy storage equipment. But when supercapacitors expand the industrial territory, they have encountered mixed blessings and mixed blessings.

1. Make good use of one's own advantages to aligning with national development strategies

Because it relies on an electric double layer and redox pseudo-capacitor charge to store electric energy, the energy storage process of supercapacitors is a reversible physical reaction, so the charging speed is very fast. It only takes 10 seconds to 10 minutes to reach 95% of the rated capacity Above, it can be repeatedly charged and discharged hundreds of thousands of times. In addition, there is no pollution in the composition, production, use, storage, and disassembly of raw materials, so supercapacitors can be regarded as ideal green power supplies. Today, when the country vigorously advocates the construction of a 'two oriented society and the development of green, energy-saving and environmental protection industries, the industrial application and promotion of the corresponding scientific research results will take advantage of the times and take advantage of the trend.

At the same time, my country's strategic planning and active advocacy of new energy technologies have also become a booster for the rapid development of supercapacitors. The characteristics of some new energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, and tidal energy, determine that their power generation methods are often non-uniform, and electrical energy output is easily changed.

This requires the use of a buffer to store energy, and supercapacitors have become the first choice. Take the application of supercapacitors in smart microgrids as an example. The microgrid is small in scale, weak in self-regulation, load fluctuations and grid operation failures will have a great impact on it. Setting up a hybrid energy storage system of super capacitors and batteries in the microgrid can store excess electrical energy when the load is low, and the stored electrical energy will be fed back to the microgrid at peak load times to help regulate the power of the microgrid and effectively solve the voltage surge of the microgrid. Improve the power quality of the microgrid.

2. The concept of new energy vehicles is favored by the government with strong support

With the improvement of people's environmental awareness and living standards, as well as government support and strong subsidies, new energy vehicles are becoming more popular. Taking this opportunity, the super capacitor as a new energy source also ushered in the spring of vigorous development. The braking energy recovery system composed of super capacitor modules is widely used in new energy buses.

Almost all braking kinetic energy is absorbed and stored when the passenger car is braking, and the energy is released when the passenger car starts or accelerates. In the working conditions of frequent start and stop of urban buses and congestion, it greatly saves fuel consumption and reduces emissions.

The Department of Electronic Information of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology conducted an in-depth investigation of domestic capacitor companies last year, with a view to supporting the super-capacity industry for the country, formulating industry-related support policies, cultivating a larger market space, and identifying the focus of industry development strategies to find market footing. During the same period, the Ministry of Finance also conducted a special survey on the super capacitor industry, to understand the development of my country's super capacitor, technical level and urban public transport applications, and solicit the opinions of enterprises on new energy vehicle subsidies.

In April 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a plan stating that it will focus on supporting the development of supercapacitors in the field of core basic components. It is foreseeable that the application of supercapacitors in new energy vehicles and other fields will usher in new opportunities.

3, the large cost investment makes it difficult for electric car companies to buy

Supercapacitors are more as a supplement to power batteries: they can greatly increase the peak output capacity of the system with a small increase in cost, or reduce the frequency of short-time high-current discharge of the power battery. It is only used in some buses, and has not been industrialized in the entire automobile industry, especially in the passenger car field.

Changan Automobile once stated that the supercapacitor's cruising range has not reached the company's expected standard and will not be used for the time being. The price is relatively high. A charge is only enough for an electric vehicle to travel for a few kilometers. The price of energy storage products per kilowatt-hour is nearly 10 times that of batteries. The actual operating cost will be very large. This problem is the bottleneck that makes it difficult for supercapacitors to be widely promoted and used alone in electric vehicle applications.

4. The prospect of a joint application with batteries is unknown

Obviously, compared to batteries, energy density is not the strength of supercapacitors, and the industrialization of many new technologies, such as the application of new materials such as graphene to improve its energy density, will take time.

At present, the combined use of supercapacitors and batteries in new energy vehicles to improve the power performance and cycle life of batteries when used alone is being favored by the industry. However, the combined application of the two energy storage devices will inevitably bring about a more complex control system, which is a big test for the overall stability of the automotive system.

Although the attitude of new energy car companies towards supercapacitors is like that of people who are always ready to travel at high speeds, they are concerned about spare tires. But the spare tire that doesn't want to turn into a normal tire is not a good spare tire. Walking on the road of turning righteously with big-handedness and long-term strategy has caused consternation among local counterparts.

Returning to the energy storage industry itself, the time it takes for a new energy storage technology to enter the mass commercial market is about 10 years. Many labs feel that promising technologies have not been adopted by the market. The reason is that Manufacturing, materials, and functional issues, realizing that these issues are resolved, the joy is more than worry.

As a high-performance energy storage device in the energy storage industry, supercapacitors are gradually attracting attention.

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