Sunday, June 16, 2013

☈ The Best Capacitors for Audio Systems 2013 ☈

I have found that caps have different sounds. And the sound you get depends on several issues. Additionally, I have found that if you count the number of capacitors inline with the signal, you will find that the less capacitors have the more the influence they have with the sound. I have only two caps in the signal path (this is excluding those in the power supplies). One is in the output of the CD/DVD player while the other capacitor is on in the tube amps. If you change either of these capacitors it will give you a different effect on the final sound. If you have many capacitors, changing one may not have a profound change in the sound.

However, I have modded many car stereos all of which use cheap electo types for signal passing and changing them all to film types will improve the sound greatly. I have experimented with scores of capacitors in my system and some capacitors will sound similar, but from top to bottom on the capacitor scale you will find that sound differences.

The new ultra capacitors series from DCN Illinois Capacitor now offers very high capacitance values up to 3,500 Farads, all this while maintaining small case sizes.

The new expanded DCN Series includes more values, now ranging in capacitance from 1F (Farad) to 3,500F, with voltage ratings from 2.7 to 5.5WVDC. With Operating temperature ranges from -40 to +60°C that give an extended life performance.
These super capacitors are an excellent replacement for batteries or as supplements to batteries. As you know, unlike ordinary batteries, capacitors do not degrade with each cycle. At 2.7 volts, DCN have a load life rated at an amazing 86,700 hours. With operating life rated at 10 years with 500,000 cycles. Applications for these super capacitors include: energy harvesting, battery pack alternatives, memory backup, battery/capacitor hybrids, UPS systems, emergency lighting, solar lighting, auto sound power boost and gives exellent good capacitors for audio systems.

DCN Series capacitors are packaged with various termination styles and case diameters, depending on values. The parts are also fully RoHS compliant. Like other IC capacitors, each DCN Series capacitor is 100% burn-in tested. Prices are very competative in todays market with $ 0.70 for 10 Farad at 2.7 Volt so not really on par with the old fashioned battery but considering the operating life it's getting very close. So you do the math.

Thin Film Passive Components. Magnetics. High-Density Capacitors. Supercapacitors. RF Components. EMI Isolation. Thin Film Batteries. Passive Components

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

☈ Ultra Capacitors VS Car Battery ☈

Unlike ordinary capacitors, batteries store energy in a chemical reaction. And because of this the ions are actually inserted into the atomic structure of an electrode. If we take your ordinary capacitor or super capacitors that can be seen below for that matter, the ions simply "cling". This is an important thing and the key factor behind the success of storing and releasing electricity in capacitors because storing energy without chemical reactions allows ultra capacitors to charge up and discharge much, much faster than normal batteries.

And because the capacitors does not suffer from wear caused by chemical reactions like oxidizing like in lead batteries or ageing like in new lithium-ion batteries, means they also last a lot longer.

Normally if you would  drain a car battery too much and try to start the car afterwards even when it's nearly empty it will cause more damage to the car battery. Eventualy because of this the battery will not take charge and charge back up to it's maximum again. However this is not true for ultra capacitors.

For example, if we take a capacitor the size of a small D-cell battery, it would have a capacitance of about 20 microfarads. But if we take a similarly sized ultracapacitor, it would have a capacitance of 300 Farads. What this means is at the same voltage, the ultracapacitor could in theory store up to 15 million times more energy. 

Ultra capacitor VS Car Battery

However if we take your typical 20-microfarad capacitor it would be able to handle as much as 300 volts, while ultracapacitors would be rated at only about 2.7 volts. At a higher voltage, the electrolyte inside ultracapacitors starts to break down. So in reality an ultracapacitor have the ability to store about 1,500 times the energy of a similar sized capacitor. This is something you need to take into consideration in you're attempts at storing energy in a capaciator.

Ultracapacitors are very effective at accepting or delivering a sudden surge of energy, and it is this that makes them a good alternative for our regular 12v car battery.

With electric cars for example ultra capacitors provide the power needed for acceleration and give that sudden boost in energy needed, while a battery provides range and recharges the ultracapacitor between surges. They normally also go by the name "Boost Capacitors" or "Boostcap" simply because that's their normal usage in industry. The Maxwell product line have the name BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitors, and these supercapacitors are the ones you would normally find if you are searching for big ultra capacitors or super capacitors around the web.

While some electric vehicles are using ultra capacitors or boost capacitors for acceleration. The devices also appear in hundreds of other applications, from cell phone base stations to alarm clocks to audio systems.

Why not use capacitors instead of your 12 volt car battery!

If you like to use ultracapacitors instead of you're ordinary car battery they could provide power during stops (running the air conditioner, lights, radio etc.).” They would also provide power for the restart, and then be “recharged during the next interval of travel.”

Building you're own DIY car battery replacement with ultracapacitors for your cars with supercapacitors for automotive applications is not that hard.

So where could I buy a +12 volt capacitor to replace the car battery?

Actually this is what you and most people would need to do. Get 6 ultracapacitors connected together (normally they have about 2.5 Volts each)

So 2.5 Volts x 6 = 15 Volts fully charged. You could do with only 5 capacitors giving you 12.5 Volts but it's not recommended, you need the extra volts to be there. Besides you're alternator will put out more than 12.5 volts when it's charging anyways. Most new cars charge anywhere between 14-15 volts, so having that extra super capacitor in your electrical system is not going to go to waste. Most cars have some electronics that drain you're battery like the car alarm. So if you leave you're car standing for a week a ultracapacitor might have drained to much and you will not be able to crank over the engine.

With 14-15 Volts and 6 of them in a bank you wont be having any problem starting you're car even if you leave it for 4-5 days. However any drain can be stopped with a simple solar panel to recharge the ultracapacitors, so if that is done you should always have them fully charged and ready to start you're car. And if you for some reason would find your supercapacitors drained charging them back up takes seconds and not hours / days like charging up your 12 volt lead car batteries.

Another interesting thing replacing you're car battery is the weight difference between a ultracapacitor pack and a battery. A normal lead acid car battery have a weight around 30 pounds. However installing ultracapacitors in it's place you will actually save around 25 pounds in weight.

What all this boils down to is you will save weight = Better gas milage
Super fast charging = Small drain on your alternator =  Better gas milage
Never wears out = Never need to be replaced = More money for you.

To break down things a bit. The ultracapacitor will charge up very quick and not load the engine as much. They will also probably last the entire life of the car, that will save you maintinance and money. They will also prevent voltage drop when restarting the engine that could be causing aftermarket electronics to shut off like the stereo. Or if you have a big sound system or other equipment that use more than the avarage electricity in your car, super capacitors would prevent voltage drop and keep it working.

In reality it does not have to be a car battery that gets replaced with supercapacitors, it might as well be your, bike, mower, atv or any type of battery. It will work just the same.

What About Using Lithium Batteries Instead?

They only weigh 1.5Kg (3lbs), will stay charged for a year, survive 1000+ discharge cycles and can be fully charged in 1-2 hours. They cost around $300-500.

While it's true that the lithium battery does have some advantages over using supercapacitors. Like it can stay charged for a year, you also need to consider the life of the lithium battery (about 3-5 years max). And today the cost is about the same, today $300 will get you 6x 3000f farad super capacitors that can make you a very strong supercapacitor car battery replacement that in theory should last you over 200 years..

Here's a few things that are good to know. Porsche AG, Stuttgart was the first car maker in the world to offer a starter battery with lithium-ion technology. Weighing less than 13 lb or 6 kg, the new battery is more than 22 lb or 10 kg lighter than the conventional 60 Ah lead battery.

While the most used batteries today are rechargeable Li-ion, Li-Poly and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. Li-ion and LiPo batteries have a recommended per-cell safety zone between 3V (fully discharged) and 4.2V (fully charged), although they can normally discharge down to about 2.8V without any problems. Discharging below these levels may cause irreversible/irreparable damage.

Therefore, these batteries must have a built-in safety mechanisms, preventing over-discharging. Conversely, overcharging can also be very dangerous.

The Li-Po batteries have a lower number of recharging cycles than LiFePo4 (1000@0.2C rate, IEC Standard). The projected/estimated life of a Lithium-Ion battery is approximately 3 years from production.

The LiFePO4  batteries exhibit slightly different properties. The LiFePO4 is a kind of Li-Ion rechargeable battery intended for high power applications, such as EV cars , eBikes, electric bike, Power Tools and RC hobby.

The LiFePO4 batteries have more constant discharge voltage and are considered to offer better safety than other Lithium-based batteries.

Other advantages of the Lithium-based rechargeable batteries include the ability of a much faster recharge and higher discharge rates than other chemistries mentioned and usually higher number of recharge cycles (>2000@0.2C rate, IEC Standard) , meaning longer life when not fully discharged, but its energy density is lower than normal Li-Ion cell (Li-Co) LiFePO4 life expectancy is approximately 5-7 years.

The supercapacitors on the other hand can do 10 million times of charging/ discharging. The supercapacitor can be charged/discharged more than 20 times a day for 136 years of continuous usage. It is about 1000 - 2000 times of Li-Ion/Ni-MH/ Ni-Cd batteries. And to fully charge a supercapacitor takes seconds instead of hours for a lithium battery.

This ultracapacitors car article is also found on ☈ Super Capacitor Vs Car Battery ☈

Read the full specifications about to the most common 2600 farad Boostcap BCAP0010 ultracapacitor below
☈ BoostCap BCAP0010 2600 farad Specs ☈


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