Supercapacitors In UPS (White Paper)

Find out about supercapacitors as an increasingly viable alternative to the more common battery-backed uninterruptible power supply.

Sealed lead-acid (SLA / VRLA) batteries continue to dominate the UPS market. However, as costs continue to fall, supercapacitors are quickly becoming a viable solution.

This is particularly true for applications that only need short-term backup, say up to 30 seconds.

Supercapacitors Versus Capacitors

Our white paper outlines the main differences between the two energy storage solutions.

While they broadly work in the same way, there are two main differences. A supercapacitor’s plates cover a much bigger surface area, which increases capacitance. The distance between the plates is significantly smaller too, which increases the amount of charge.

With a much higher power density, a supercapacitor can typically store up to 10,000 times more energy per unit than a standard UPS capacitor.

Supercapacitors – also known as ultracapacitors – offer other benefits too. For instance, they can handle a much wider range of operating temperatures.

And compared to SLA / VRLA batteries, they don’t have any toxic or flammable components. But they have their drawbacks too. They have a lower energy density than batteries. And while prices have fallen in recent years, supercapacitors entail much higher upfront costs.

Supercapacitor UPS In Action

SuperCaps UPS solutions are ideal for sites prone to short power disruptions that last for just a few cycles.

In addition, their wider temperature tolerance makes them an option for harsher environments. There are a few other areas where supercapacitors are suitable.

These include renewable energy installations, regenerative train brakes, and backing up hospital diagnostic equipment.