High Power Pulse Supercapacitors
4.1: ELECTROCHEMICAL EDLC VS.
ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY -
To understand the benefits offered by the BestCap®, it is
necessary to examine how an electrochemical capacitor
works. The most significant difference between an electron-
ic capacitor and an electrochemical capacitor is that the
charge transfer is carried out by the electrons in the former
and by electrons and ions in the latter. The anions and
cations involved in double layer supercapacitors are con-
tained in the electrolyte which may be liquid (normally an
aqueous or organic solution) or solid. The solid electrolyte is
almost universally a conductive polymer.
Electrons are relatively fast moving and therefore transfer
charge “instantly.” However, ions have to move relatively
slowly from anode to cathode, and hence a finite time is
needed to establish the full nominal capacitance of the
device. This nominal capacitance is normally measured at
The differences between EDLC (Electrochemical Double
Layer Capacitors) and electronic capacitors are summarized
in the table below:
4.2: VOLTAGE DROP
Two factors are critical in determining the voltage drop when
a capacitor delivers a short current pulse; these are ESR
and “available” capacitance as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Voltage-time relation of capacitor unit
The instant voltage drop ΔVESR is caused by and is directly
proportional to the capacitor’s ESR. The continuing voltage
drop with time ΔVC, is a function of the available charge, i.e.
capacitance. From Figures 3 and 4 it is apparent that, for
very short current pulses, e.g. in the millisecond region, the
combination of voltage drops in a conventional supercapaci-
tor caused by a) the high ESR and b) the lack of available
capacitance causes a total voltage drop, unacceptable for
most applications. Now compare the BestCap®performance
under such pulse conditions. The ultra-low ESR (in
milliOhms) minimizes the instantaneous voltage drop, while
the very high retained capacitance drastically reduces the
severity of the charge related drop. This is explained further
in a later section.
EFFICIENCY/TALKTIME BENEFITS OF BESTCAP®
Since BestCap®, when used in parallel with a battery, pro-
vides a current pulse with a substantially higher voltage than
that available just from the battery as shown in Figure 5, the
efficiency of the RF power amplifier is improved.
Figure 5. GSM Pulse
Additionally, the higher-than battery voltage supplied by the
BestCap®keeps the voltage pulse above the “cut off volt-
age” limit for a significantly longer time than is the case for
the battery alone. This increase in “talk time” is demonstrated
in Figures 6(a) (Li-Ion at +25°C), and 6(b) (Li-Ion at 0°C).
SECTION 4: APPLICATION NOTES
• A capacitor basically consists of two conductive plates
(electrodes), separated by a layer of dielectric material.
• These dielectric materials may be ceramic, plastic film,
paper, aluminum oxide, etc.
• EDLCs do not use a discrete dielectric interphase
separating the electrodes.
• EDLCs utilize the charge separation, which is formed
across the electrode – electrolyte interface.
• The EDLC constitutes of two types of charge carriers:
IONIC species on the ELECTROLYTE side and
ELECTRONIC species on the ELECTRODE side.