Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors: Supercapacitors 2013-2023

Published Date » 2013-10-01
No. Of Pages » 289

This broad-ranging report on supercapacitors and supercabatteries has up to date ten year forecasts and analysis of market, applications, technology, patent and profit trends and the manufacturers and researchers involved.
55% of the manufacturers and intending manufacturers of supercapacitors/supercabatteries (EDLC, AEDLC) are in East Asia, 28% are in North America but Europe is fast asleep at only 7%. Yet, being used for an increasing number of purposes in electric vehicles, mobile phones, energy harvesting, renewable energy and other products of the future, this market is roaring up to over $11 billion in ten years with considerable upside potential.
This report concerns Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors (EDLCs). For brevity, we mainly use the second most popular word for them - supercapacitors. The third most popular term for them - ultracapacitors - is often used in heavy electrical applications. Included in the discussion and forecasts are so-called Asymmetric Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors (AEDLCs) better known as supercabatteries.
The report also features patent trends of supercapacitor technologies. This data is taken from a report covering more details about the patent landscape for batteries; for full details of that report please go to .
Supercapacitors are a curiously neglected aspect of electronics and electrical engineering with a multi-billion dollar market rapidly emerging. For example, for land, water and airborne electric vehicles, there are about 200 serious traction motor manufacturers and 110 serious traction battery suppliers compared to just a few supercapacitor manufacturers. In all, there are no more than 66 significant supercapacitor manufacturers with most concentrating on the easier small ones for consumer electronics such as power backup. However, in a repetition of the situation with rechargeable batteries, the largest part of the market has just become the heavy end, notably for electric and conventional vehicles.
Supercapacitors and supercabatteries mainly have properties intermediate between those of batteries and traditional capacitors but they are being improved more rapidly than either. That includes improvement in cost and results in them not just being used to enhance batteries but even replacing batteries and capacitors in an increasing number of applications from renewable energy down to microscopic electronics. For example, your mobile phone may have better sound and flash that works at ten times the distance because a supercapacitor has taken over these functions from conventional capacitors.

Supercapacitors are replacing batteries where such properties as excellent low temperature performance, calendar and cycle life, fast charge-discharge and reliability are more dominant issues than size and weight. Examples of this include power backup opening bus doors in an emergency, working hybrid car brakes when power goes down and keeping electronic circuits running. Conventional trucks are having one to three of their lead acid batteries replaced with drop-in supercapacitor alternatives that guarantee starting in very cold weather, when lead acid batteries are very poor performers. 

The difference is dramatic - about 5% energy loss occurs at minus 25 degrees centigrade, compared to a battery's energy loss of more than 50%. Some pure electric buses even run on supercapacitors alone recharging through the road every five kilometres or so. Use of supercapacitors to protect batteries against fast charge and discharge and from deep discharge means smaller batteries are needed and they last longer, depressing battery demand and increasing supercapacitor demand.
The bottom line is that almost everywhere you see next generation electronic and power technology you see supercapacitors and supercabatteries being fitted or planned because of superior performance, cost-over-life and fit-and-forget.

1.1. A huge opportunity but a relatively neglected sector
1.1.1. Relative pace of improvement
1.2. Objectives of further development
1.2.1. Most promising routes
1.2.2. Geographical and product emphasis.
1.3. Forecasting assumptions
1.4. Reality checks
1.5. Upside potential
1.5.1. Applications
1.5.2. Replacing some batteries
1.6. AEDLC/supercabatteries
1.6.1. Supercapacitor technology roadmap including lithium-ion capacitors (AEDLC) 2013-2023
1.7. The technology and its future
1.7.1. Comparison with capacitors and batteries
1.7.2. Replacing lead-acid and NiCd batteries
1.7.3. Most promising improvements ahead
1.7.4. Aqueous and non-aqueous electrolytes
1.7.5. Prospect of radically different battery and capacitor shapes
1.7.6. Fixing the limitations
1.8. Supercapacitor sales have a new driver: safety
1.9. Change of leadership of the global value market?

2.1. Nomenclature
2.2. Batteries and capacitors converge
2.2.1. What is a battery?
2.2.2. Battery history
2.2.3. Analogy to a container of liquid
2.2.4. Construction of a battery
2.2.5. Many shapes of battery
2.2.6. Single use vs rechargeable batteries
2.2.7. What is a capacitor?
2.2.8. Capacitor history
2.2.9. Analogy to a spring
2.2.10. Capacitor construction
2.2.11. Supercapacitor construction
2.2.12. Limitations of energy storage devices
2.2.13. Battery safety
2.2.14. A glimpse at the new magic
2.3. Improvement in performance taking place with components
2.4. History
2.5. What does a supercapacitor for small devices look like?
2.6. Supercapacitors and supercabattery basics
2.6.1. Basic geometry
2.6.2. Charging
2.6.3. Discharging and cycling
2.6.4. Energy density
2.6.5. Battery-like variants: Pseudocapacitors, supercabatteries
2.6.6. New shapes
2.6.7. Achieving higher voltages
2.6.8. Laminar biodegradable option

3.1. Objectives
3.1.1. Cost reduction
3.1.2. Most promising routes
3.2. Better electrolytes and electrodes
3.2.1. Oshkosh Nanotechnology
3.2.2. Better carbon technologies
3.3. Carbon nanotubes
3.3.1. Carbon aerogel
3.3.2. Solid activated carbon
3.3.3. Y-Carbon USA
3.3.4. Carbide derived carbon
3.4. Graphene
3.4.1. Fast charging is achieved
3.4.2. Graphene Energy
3.4.3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
3.5. Prevention of capacity fading
3.6. Microscopic supercapacitors become possible
3.7. Flexible, paper and transparent supercapacitors
3.7.1. University of Minnesota
3.7.2. University of Southern California
3.7.3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute USA
3.8. Woven wearable supercapacitors
3.9. Skeleton and skin strategy improves supercapacitor
3.10. National University of Singapore: a competitor for supercapacitors?
3.11. Supercabattery developments
3.12. Synthesizing enhanced materials for supercapacitors
3.13. Boost for energy storage of super capacitors

4.1. Buses and trucks
4.1.1. Fast charge-discharge made possible
4.1.2. Much better cold start and battery use in trucks
4.1.3. Stop-start of cars
4.1.4. Capabus: electric buses without batteries
4.1.5. Oshkosh military truck without batteries
4.1.6. Why supercapacitors instead of batteries?
4.1.7. Regenerative Braking Systems for industrial and commercial vehicles
4.1.8. Fork lifts, cranes regen, peak power, battery life improvement
4.2. Range extender support
4.3. Ten year forecast for electric cars, hybrids and their range extenders
4.4. Hybrid and pure electric vehicles compared
4.5. Hybrid market drivers
4.6. What will be required of a range extender 2012-2022
4.7. Three generations of range extender
4.8. Energy harvesting - mostly ally not alternative
4.9. Key trends for range extended vehicles
4.10. Electric vehicle demonstrations and adoption
4.11. Hybrid electric vehicles
4.13. Racing cars
4.14. Folding e-bike
4.15. Railway engine power recuperation
4.16. Siemens Germany
4.17. Supercapacitors for fuel cell vehicles - HyHEELS & ILHYPOS

5.1. Cellphone battery improvement and replacement
5.2. Long distance camera flash
5.3. Handling surge power in electronics
5.4. Wireless systems and Burst-Mode Communications
5.5. Energy harvesting
5.5.1. Bicycles and wristwatches
5.5.2. Industrial electronics: vibration harvesters
5.5.3. Extending mobile phone use
5.5.4. Human power to recharge portable electronics

6.1. Renewable energy
6.2. The Challenges and Solutions
6.4. Quick Charge Hand Tools

7.1. The PatAnalyse/ IDTechEx patent search strategy
7.1.1. Revealing many underlying business and scientific trends
7.1.2. Absolute and normalised patent maps
7.2. Generic Supercapacitor technologies
7.2.1. Top 50 Assignees vs Technical categories
7.2.2. Top 50 Assignees vs Priority Years
7.2.3. Technical categories vs Priority Years
7.2.4. Countries of origin vs Priority Years
7.2.5. Technical categories vs Countries of origin
7.3. Technical categories vs National Patent Office Country
7.4. About PatAnalyse

8.1. ABSL EnerSys
8.2. Ada Technologies USA
8.3. Advanced Capacitor Technologies Japan
8.4. Asahi Kasei-FDK Japan
8.5. AVX Mexico
8.6. Bainacap China
8.7. Bolloré France
8.8. Baoding Yepu New Energy China
8.9. Beijing HCC Energy Tech China
8.10. Cap-XX Australia
8.11. CDE Cornell Dubilier USA
8.12. Cellergy Israel
8.13. Chaoyang Liyuan New Energy China
8.14. Cooper Bussmann USA
8.15. Daying Juneng Technology and Development China
8.16. Dongguan Amazing Electronic China
8.17. Dongguan Fuhui Electronics Sales China
8.18. Dongguan Gonghe Electronics China
8.19. Dongguan WIN WIN Supercap Electronic China
8.20. East Penn Manufacturing Co. USA
8.21. Ecoult Australia
8.22. Elbit Energy Israel
8.23. ELIT Russia
8.24. ESMA Russia
8.25. Evans Capacitor Company USA
8.26. FastCAP Systems USA
8.27. FDK Corp Japan
8.28. Furukawa Battery Co Japan
8.29. GHC Electronic Co China
8.30. Graphene Energy Inc USA
8.31. Handong Heter Battery China
8.32. Harbin Jurong Newpower China
8.33. Hitachi Japan
8.34. Honda Japan
8.35. Illinois Capacitor USA
8.36. Ionova USA
8.37. Ioxus USA
8.38. JM Energy Corp Japan
8.39. KAM China
8.40. Kankyo Japan
8.41. Korchip Korea
8.42. LS Mtron Korea
8.43. Maxwell Technologies USA
8.44. Meidensha Corp. Japan
8.45. Murata Japan
8.46. Nanotecture, UK (now only licensing)
8.47. Nanotune Technologies USA
8.48. NEC Tokin Japan
8.49. Nesscap Energy Inc Korea
8.50. Nichicon Japan
8.51. Nippon Chemi-con Japan
8.52. Panasonic Japan
8.53. Paper Battery Company USA
8.54. PowerSystem Co Japan
8.55. Quantum Wired USA
8.56. Ryan Technology Taiwan
8.57. SAFT France
8.58. Shandong Heter Lampson Electronic China
8.59. Shanghai Aowei Technology Development China
8.60. Shanghai Green Tech China
8.61. Shanghai Power Oriental International Trade China
8.62. Shenzhen Forecon Super Capacitor Technology China
8.63. Sino Power Star China
8.64. Skeleton Technologies Estonia
8.65. SPL USA
8.66. Taiyo Yuden Japan
8.67. Tavrima Canada
8.68. Vina Technology Co Korea
8.69. WIMA Spezialvertrieb Elektronischer Bauelemente Germany
8.70. Yo-Engineering Russia
8.71. Yunasko Ukraine

9.1. Cap-XX
9.2. Cellergy
9.3. Ioxus
9.4. Maxwell Technologies Inc
9.5. Saft Batteries
9.6. Skeleton Technologies
9.7. Yunasko




List of Tables

1.1. Supercapacitor advantages and disadvantages over rechargeable batteries
1.2. Supercapacitors and supercabatteries invade the battery space. Comparison of actual and planned parameters
1.3. Global combined supercapacitor/ supercabattery market actual and forecast 2010-2023 $ billion ex-factory, with % and value when used for electronics vs electrical engineering
1.4. Trend in battery type by application of vehicle 2012-2022
1.5. Examples of supercapacitor and supercabattery applications envisaged by suppliers
1.6. Comparison of EDLC, AEDLC and rechargeable battery properties
1.7. Examples of energy density figures for batteries, supercapacitors lithium-ion batteries and gasoline
1.8. Aqueous vs non aqueous electrolytes in supercapacitors
1.9. Properties conferred by aqueous vs non-aqueous electrolytes in supercapacitors and supercabatteries
2.1. The confusing EDLC/ supercapacitor terminology
2.2. Five ways in which a capacitor acts as the electrical equivalent of the spring
2.3. Comparison of the three types of capacitor when storing one kilojoule of energy.
2.4. Advantages and disadvantages of some options for supplying electricity from a device
4.1. Number of hybrid and pure electric cars sold and those that plug in thousands 2012-2022
4.2. Some primary hybrid market drivers
4.3. Three generations of range extender with examples of construction, manufacturer and power output
5.1. Comparison of Light Energy between Xenon, BriteFlash and Low-Power LED Flash
8.1. Primary focus of manufacturers and putative manufacturers
8.2. Targeted applications for ACT lithium-ion supercapacitor
8.3. Cap XX single cells organic flat supercapacitors vs alternatives
8.4. Representative customers for commercial use

List of Figures

1.1. 66 manufacturers and putative manufacturers of supercapacitors/ supercabatteries % by continent
1.2. 66 manufacturers and putative manufacturers of supercapacitors/ supercabatteries by country
1.3. Primary focus % of 66 manufacturers and putative manufacturers of supercapacitors and/or supercabatteries
1.4. Global supercapacitor market actual and forecast 2010-2023 $ billion ex-factory, with % and value when used for electronics vs electrical engineering
1.5. Numbers of EVs, in thousands, sold globally, 2012-2022, by applicational sector
1.6. Maxwell Technologies supercapacitor pack for electric vehicles
1.7. Hybrid bus with supercapacitors on roof
1.8. Schematic of EDLC ie supercapacitor
1.9. Comparison of an EDLC with an EADLC ie supercabattery
1.10. Specific energy vs specific power for storage devices now and in the near future. Some developers even expect supercabatteries to match the energy density of lithium-ion batteries
1.11. Ragone plot showing charging time and the place of fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, supercabatteries and aluminium electrolytic capacitors and a simplified view of the main future potential given that supercabatteries and s
1.12. Simplest equivalent circuit for an electrolytic capacitor
1.13. Transmission line equivalent circuit for a supercapacitor.
1.14. Nippon Chemi-Con pollution-free Supercapacitor used for fast charge-discharge in a Mazda car exhibited May 2012
2.1. Construction of a battery cell
2.2. MEMS compared with a dust mite less than one millimetre long
2.3. Power in use vs duty cycle for portable and mobile devices showing zones of use of single use vs rechargeable batteries but the single use territory is rapidly becoming rechargeable
2.4. Principle of the creation and healing of the oxide film of an aluminium electrolytic capacitor in use
2.5. Construction of wound electrolytic capacitor
2.6. Can type of supercapacitor
2.7. Bikudo supercapacitor
2.8. Flat supercapacitors made by prismatic or pouch construction or banking of cylinders
2.9. Banked supercapacitor modules on the roof of a bus
2.10. Comparison of construction diagrams of three basic types of capacitor
2.11. Types of ancillary electrical equipment being improved to serve small devices
2.12. Rapid progress in the capabilities of small electronic devices and their photovoltaic energy harvesting
2.13. Where supercapacitors fit in
2.14. Current vs time for a battery with and without a supercapacitor across it at minus 40oC
2.15. Symmetric supercapacitor construction
2.16. Symmetric compared to asymmetric supercapacitor construction
3.1. Energy density vs power density
3.2. Carbon aerogel supercapacitors
3.3. The new principle for a lithium supercabattery
3.4. Scanning electron microscopy image of curved graphene sheets (scale bar 10 µm).
3.5. Single sheets of graphene material
3.6. Graphene supercapacitor cross section
3.7. Nano onions
3.8. Hydrogen-insertion asymmetric supercapacitor
3.9. Flexible supercapacitor
3.10. Flexible, transparent supercapacitors - bend and twist them like a poker card
3.11. The UCLA printed supercapacitor technologies on a ragone plot
3.12. Illustration of a core-shell supercapacitor electrode design for storing electrochemical energy
3.13. MnO2-CNT-sponge electrodes
3.14. The energy storage membrane
3.15. Schematic diagram showing the configuration of UltraBattery™
3.16. Appearance and dimensions of prototype UltraBattery™
4.1. "Don't leave starting to batteries. The Engine Start Module from Maxwell Technologies will provide the power to start your truck all the time, every time."
4.2. CapXX stop start supercapacitor
4.3. A bus that runs entirely on ultracapacitors charges up at a bus stop in Shanghai
4.4. Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) with no traction battery
4.5. See through of HEMTT
4.6. Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid vs pure electric vehicles
4.7. Indicative trend of charging and electrical storage for large hybrid vehicles over the next decade.
4.8. Evolution of construction of range extenders over the coming decade
4.9. Examples of range extender technology in the shaft vs no shaft categories
4.10. Illustrations of range extender technologies over the coming decade with "gen" in red for those that have inherent ability to generate electricity
4.11. The most powerful energy harvesting in vehicles
4.12. Kinetic Photovoltaic Vehicle folding e-bike
5.1. Mobile phone modified to give much brighter flash thanks to supercapacitor outlined in red
5.2. Comparison of a small xenon flash in a current camera phone and the supercapacitor-powered LED BriteFlash™ solution
5.3. Comparison of a standard LED flash to a BriteFlash
5.4. The Linear Technology surge power solution. LTC4425 charger IC manages a series pair of supercapacitors, charges them from Li-ion/polymer cells, USB port, or DC source
5.5. Perpetuum energy harvester with its supercapacitors
5.6. University of Cambridge harvester for phones. A thin-film system harvests energy from wasted light in an OLED display.
6.1. Wind power electricity storage Palmdale California
6.2. Quantum Wired vision of supercapacitors managing wind turbine power surges.
6.3. Schematic diagram showing the electricity flow between wind turbine, UltraBattery™ pack and power grid in a grid-connected wind energy system
6.4. UltraBattery™ pack providing energy storage to the wind turbine at CSIRO Energy Technology, Newcastle, Australia.
6.5. Schematic diagram showing the connection of batteries to each phase of the wind turbine.
7.1. Top 50 Assignees vs Technical categories
7.2. Top 50 Assignees vs Priority Years
7.3. Technical categories vs Priority Years
7.4. Countries of origin vs Priority Years
7.5. Technical categories vs Countries of origin
7.6. Technical categories vs National Patent Office Country
8.1. ACT Premlis lithium-ion capacitors (Supercabatteries AEDLC)
8.2. Comparison of ACT Premlis lithium-ion capacitors with early symmetric supercapacitors
8.3. Comparison of Premlis discharge energy with early activated carbon EDLCs
8.4. AVX high power pulse supercapacitors.
8.5. Bainacap supercapacitors
8.6. Beijing HCC Energy Tech supercapacitor
8.7. CapXX product range
8.8. The Cap-XX supercapacitor structure
8.9. Front and back close-up of components of energy harvester with supercapacitor and full module below
8.10. CDE Cornell Dubilier supercapacitors
8.11. Chaoyang Liyuan large 3000F supercapacitor
8.12. Daying Juneng Technology and Development supercapacitors
8.13. Dongguan WIN WIN Supercap Electronic 1F supercapacitor
8.14. ELBIT timeline as presented at the IDTechEx "Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air" event in San Jose California 2012
8.15. Electric Urban Public Transportation (EUPT) concept for using supercabatteries with a relatively small traction battery in a bus
8.16. Applications envisaged
8.17. Civil market - additional energy solutions
8.18. ELBIT Systems combined energy storage system concept
8.19. Evans Capacitors supercapacitors
8.20. Evans Capacitor Capattery. RES 160504 Shock hardened Capattery 16V 0.5F for high Shock / Impact
8.21. The FDK EneCapTen large lithium-ion supercabattery
8.22. The regular EneCapTen lithium-ion supercabattery
8.23. GHC supercapacitors
8.24. Handong Heter Battery supercapacitor
8.25. Hitachi lithium-ion capacitors
8.26. Illinois Capacitor supercapacitor range
8.27. Ioxus supercapacitors
8.28. Ioxus supercapacitors
8.29. KAMCAP supercapacitor
8.30. Korchip supercapacitor range
8.31. Benefits cited by Korchip
8.32. LS Mtron Korea Ultracapacitor
8.33. Maxwell Technologies ultracapacitor engine start module
8.34. Maxwell Technologies supercapacitors
8.35. Supercapacitor made using Aluminium Celmet.
8.36. Murata supercapacitors
8.37. Nanotecture nanoporous supercabattery electrode material
8.38. NEC Tokin supercapacitor
8.39. Nesscap supercapacitors
8.40. Nichicon supercapacitors
8.41. Nippon Chemi-Con ELDCs - supercapacitors
8.42. Nippon Chemi-Con supercapacitors for material handling vehicles and cars
8.43. Nippon Chemi-Con poster from EVS26 in 2012
8.44. First generation product: PowerPatch™
8.45. Non-Hazardous materials
8.46. Acceleration of drum warming-up
8.47. Peak power assistance & utilizing regenerative energy
8.48. Reduction of Exhaust Gas
8.49. Reduction of total cost
8.50. Energy density vs power density showing the positioning of Quantum Wired's supercapacitor / micro fuel cell device
8.51. SAFT view of the supercapacitor and supercabattery opportunity
8.52. Shandong Heter Lampson Electronic supercapacitors
8.53. Shanghai Green Tech supercapacitors
8.54. Shenzhen Forecon supercapacitor
8.55. Sino Power Star supercapacitor
8.56. Skeleton Technologies supercapacitors
8.57. SPL CP15 15 Farad supercabattery and 8 Farad supercabattery
8.58. Tavrima supercapacitors
8.59. Vinatech supercapacitors
8.60. WIMA large supercapacitors
8.61. Double Layer Capacitors developed by WIMA

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