Without doubt, supercapacitors / ultracapacitors are one of the fastest evolving capacitor technologies.
As manufacturers push technical boundaries of their core technologies including : EDLCs, Pseudocapacitors & Hybrid capacitors (lithium-ion capacitor), primarily targeting an ability to offer higher operating voltages and temperatures which result in a wider scope of suitable applications, and the ability to offer smaller devices and longer product life in the field.
Supercapacitors / ultracapacitors manufacturers naturally look to offer solutions in forms which are desirable for intended applications, this is why we often see supercapacitors / ultracapacitors being produced in packages, including: prismatic, cylindrical, coin-cells, modules.
Why choose supercapacitors or ultracapacitors?
The principal incentives for selecting supercapacitors / ultracapacitors are because the charge and discharge times are fast, the number of cycles are high and with a combined capability to support high power loads.
These factors establish supercapacitors / ultracapacitors as a perfect capacitor for specifying in applications requiring power hold, energy harvesting and pulse power handling, when a power source is available or the nature of the demand alone will lead to premature battery failure.
Supply issues with supercapacitors and ultracapacitors
It comes as no surprise with an emerging technology and engineers really starting to appreciate the advantages of supercapacitors / ultracapacitors in their designs that uptake has increased exponentially.
The outcome is that a range of manufacturers are investing heavily in this exciting technology. On the surface, this would normally lead to the assumption that the supply of supercapacitors / ultracapacitors is stable, unfortunately this often couldn’t be further from the truth and issues with the continuity of supply remain very evident.
Examples of supply issues with supercapacitors or ultracapacitors
Early adopters of the technology are currently facing instances of sole sourcing with a particular manufacturer’s part, then finding that these become EOL (End of Life) as the manufacturer withdraws completely from the market i.e. Murata with their DMF , DMT, DMH series.
Also manufacturers sometimes discontinue certain ranges and issue statements of “not recommended for new designs” i.e. Maxwell with their supercapacitor / ultracapacitor modules, with part numbers:
- Maxwell - BMOD0083 P048 B01
- Maxwell - BMOD0165 P048 BXX
- Maxwell - BMOD0130 P056 B03
- Maxwell - BMOD0094 P075 B02
- Maxwell - BMOD0010 P090 B02
- Maxwell - BMOD0010 P090 C02
- Maxwell - BMOD0063 P125 B04
- Maxwell - BMOD0063 P125 B08
Other wider issues potentially impacting supply, include companies who have developed the technology then deciding this is not core to their business and wish to unload some or even all of their endeavours in this field. Unfortunately it’s normally the case when a prospective buyer for such a company is found this is sometimes a competitor with a desire to rationalise product offering who will either remove competing lines and/or look to push the market in a direction enabling them to concentrate on their own core supercapacitors / ultracapacitor product offering.
Another area which can cast doubt on future supply is when a manufacturer of supercapacitors / ultracapacitors is acquired by an end-user, for the sole purpose of controlling supply and or developing the technology to suit their own needs.
DMTL offer supercapacitors / ultracapacitor solutions from well-established profitable manufacturers, who view this technology as a key strategic long-term growth area and are willing to invest significantly from both an R&D and production capacity prospective.
DMTL is often able to offer a second source on existing designs or work directly with engineers where no fit, form & function equivalent exists, specifying products which will result in the minimum disruption possible when redesign is the only option.
DMTL can offer all types of supercapacitor like high temperature supercapacitors, low ESR supercapacitors, long life supercapacitors, small supercapacitors and many more.
DMTL have developed a handy Cross-Reference Tool to allow engineers and buyers to, simply, select the manufacturer of the part for which they are looking to find an alternative, then begin typing the series type or part number and the tool finds suitable alternatives!
Also, the cross-reference guide below provides details of possible alternatives for supercapacitors / ultracapacitors from manufacturers: Eaton, Korchip, Ioxus Maxwell, Nesscap, Samwha, Tecate, Vitzrocell, Yeong Long (YEC).