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FDK To Begin Mass Production of High-Capacity Li-Ion Capacitors; Automotive and Renewable Energy Applications

4 January 2009

The EneCapTen large capacitor. Click to enlarge.

FDK Corp. will begin mass production of its line of lithium-ion capacitors (LIC) as early as spring. The company will install new production lines at its factory in Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture, with a gradual expansion in monthly output capacity to 500,000 units, according to a report in the Nikkei. FDK plans to invest ¥2-5 billion (US$21.7-54.2 million) by the end of 2012.

FDK announced its EneCapTen lithium-ion capacitor in 2007. The EneCapTen performs well under high temperatures (up to 80 °C); offers a maximum cell voltage of 4.0V; maximum capacitance of 2,000F; and an energy density of up to 25 Wh/L (14 Wh/kg)—3-4 times that of FDK’s older electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC).

The company anticipates that lithium-ion capacitors will be in demand as auxiliary power units for automobiles, as well as storage components that facilitate the transmission of electricity generated by wind turbines.

The ECM15P. Click to enlarge.

In 2008, the company introduced the ECM15P series EneCapTen ultracapacitor modules for use in vehicles at ELECTRONICA 2008. (Earlier post.)

FDK’s 15V ultracapacitors are modularized versions of its original high-capacity EneCapTen capacitor cells for vehicle use. These capacitors have a long cycle life of more than 500,000 cycles, a high power density relative to batteries, and an efficiency rating of 99.9%. At 260x210x60mm in size, they have 525F of capacitance, 10.5 Wh of energy capacity, and 5 kW of maximum power.

Among the applications for the modules suggested by FDK are use in a stop-start system which can regenerate electric power during deceleration or use to extend the product life of lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries.

The electrochemical difference between EDLC and Lithium Ion Capacitors. Click to enlarge.

Lithium-ion capacitors. Capacitors are characterized by very long cycle life, high power density and instantaneous charge and discharge, but with low energy densities. Lithium-ion capacitors improve on the energy density and voltage of a conventional EDLC by using a lithium-ion pre-doping technique to increase the capacity and lower the potential of the anode, as well as a lithium electrolyte.

At the 214th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society in October, researchers from Yamaguchi University noted in a paper that because lithium-ions in a LIC do not behave exactly similar to those in lithium-ion batteries, the design of the electrolyte, including the selection of the anion, is important for the further improvement of the system. They presented a preliminary study on the used of a series of mixed-salt non-aqueous electrolytes, in particular containing a lithium triazolate salt.

JM Energy Corp., began mass production of lithium-ion capacitors this past fall with monthly output capacity of 25,000 units. The JM Energy LICs—the company is introducing two series initially based on capacitance (1,100F and 2,200F)—offer volumetric density of 21-25 Wh/L, and gravimetric density of 12-14 Wh/kg.(Earlier post.)

Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru vehicles, is in the middle of a five-year agreement to license its lithium-ion capacitor technology to Nihon Micro Coating. (Earlier post.)

Under the agreement, Nihon Micro Coating will non-exclusively be able to develop, prototype, manufacture, use, and market lithium-ion capacitors based on FHI’s technology. The company had been producing the electrodes for the capacitors. Fuji Heavy is exploring their use in hybrid and electric vehicles.

The ACT Premlis LIC compared to EDLCs and Lithium-ion batteries. Click to enlarge. Source: ACT

Other companies developing and/or producing with LICs (along with the energy density of their LICs) include Shoei electronics; Hitachi-AIC (11 Wh/L); NEC-Tokin; Asahi-kasei (18 Wh/L); and Advanced Capacitor Technologies (ACT) (20~30 Wh/kg).

Advanced Capacitor Technologies began commercial production of its Premlis LICs in November.


January 4, 2009 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)


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F1 KERS system perhaps?

I think these guys should save their money and invest with EEStor instead. EEStor is almost ready to unveil their technology to the world....just wait until Obama is sworn in! ...ejj...

So, theoretically 50 of those packages would be capable to deliver 250kW for 7.5s at a weight of less than 40kg. Possibly enough to accelerate a Teslamotors to max speed mostly on those Li-Ion capacitors alone.

The Tesla roadster battery weighs 450kg. (Last but not least, because they wanted to reduce the strain on the battery at full acceleration).
With those capacitors they could reduce the strain on the battery, while significantly reducing the weight of battery at the same time. This would also increase the acceleration of the car and improve the entire car/system efficiency. Well, assuming some customers would be happy with a reduced range of less than 150 miles.
Alternatively, using these capacitors, would also enable a PHEV Tesla roadster with a pure battery range of maybe 60 miles (and a total range of over 400miles). Producing a compact IC-engine with a weight of less than 20kg and a power of over 30kW is principally feasible: battery + capacitors + engine/generator + fuel cell would still weigh less than the current battery.

Oops, fuel cell (above) = gasoline tank


Where do you get that EESTOR is about to release something ? I personally don't beleive it, asides of empty promise and constantly postponing their delivery I don't see them releasing anything any time soon.

There seem to be at least six manufactures in the high end capacitor market with products close or ready to manufacture. As well as the mysterious eestor and the Pb caps. Traditional large capacity caps have been very expensive per farad.
It will be interesting to see the price comparisons when things settle down (and product becomes available)
It is an important consideration when there is real choice. Although some control design will be tolerant to a range of designs once the intent IE large volume storage or small battery / smoothing effect is determined, there is every likelihood that costs will fall as competition and processes improve at a more rapid rate.
This would have an enormous influence on the design direction of the rest of the hev phev and bev architecture both as far as hardware sizing and emphasis and the design and sizing of the power electronics.

IE there would be little point in optomising regenerative braking control or designing new methods if the practical storage devices cant cope with the power.
Some battery possibilities or configurations previously handicapped by high resistance will now be viable and worthy of consideration. In the same way as the pb capatteries have reinvigorated the possibilities for lead acid batteries
In short this opens an entirely new perspective to the way electrical sytems can be concieved. And it's still very early days.

This may be just the sort of boost! required to facilitate all the ev class of machine.
As globi and lad remark 250KW from a 40Kg device no matter the short time is still nitro.

Energy and power densities of 14 Wh/kg and 6.6 kW/kg (#) do not seem that high for a cap.
See chart at:
(#) 5 kW/(10.5Wh/14 Wh/kg) = 6.6 kW/kg.

If cost is no object or if they are cheap, great.
But if the cost of a 50 of these is anywhere near comparable to the cost of Tesla’s “battery” pack, sorry.
What does the cap output profile mean for the converter?
I assume that the inverter must work with a cap voltage that drops linearly with state of charge.
This should be relatively easy to accomplish with modern electronics but I assume it means separate inverters for batteries and capacitors.

Most likely these will be mostly used in combo with a micro hybrid design to provide a cheap way to get 30-33% reduction in fuel usage out of a small package.

Seperate invertors? or convertors better to see the main chat between the cap and battery.
some sytems already ether overbattery and regulate voltage while others limit the max by battery charge voltage. either way, the 'xtra' voltage regulation is pretty much a fact of life already, this adds justification to a more complex read 'versitile and efficient' approach.

One, (more likely two or three for15v) of these caps may be all that a system requires, or 'any number' may have economic and practical advantage.How much nitro can the system handle?

What it wont do is replace the battery 'storage' advantage.
While others 'may' see that possibility in a batteryless system.

Again apples and oranges - the optimum balance is the aim from an economic perspective.
Of course batteries are achieving better cycle and lower resistance, but if we can assume such as eestor is not real, then we can liken the capacitor battery combination as having those same optimal qualities. Albeit requires pump charging design solutions and combined weight restrictions are still a factor especially as weight is a primary consideration to increased mileage or energy economy when there is less 'energy in the tank' .
But for now we can see the toolkit has expanded a whole new (practical)level.

I think the technology is very useful for say, electric bicycle.

The tech is giving about 14 Wh/kg. So say u have a 1kg of this thing, that's 14*3600 = 50400 Joules of energy.

a 20kg bicycle + 80kg cycler weight is 100kg.

for kinetic energy = sqrt(50400*2/100) = 32 meter /sec (or 72mph)

for potential energy it is equivalen to the height of 50400/9.8/100 = 51.4 meter of vertical height.

Given their lower energy density per litre, not likely they are going to be used in larger numbers in vehicles where room is at premium (ie racing cars, passenger cars).
Much more suitable for large commercial vehicles.

If price is reasonable they could be effectively used as front end of batteries to absorb and provide current spikes - without need for extra electronics, or very little.

The reality is that most HEVs and BEVs will be FWD with motor at front and batteries at the rear, connected with thick copper cables for high currents.
It would make sense to use a HV balanced ultracapacitor modules located closer to motor, to provide say 3-5 sec power boost for acceleration. The power cables for batteries could be then sized for some average currents not for max ones.
It could significantly increase acceleration of some HEVs with small battery pack (up to 2 kWh), and extend battery life.

Those Pb cap-batteries might have had commercial success if they were available 5 to 10 years ago. Simply they're inferior to many existing Li battery technologies (possibly in tandem with ultracaps).

Nice. I am going to write about this on my EV and electricity generation alternative energy pages. This is good to hear. I am tired about hearing of inventions which don't make it to the assembly line. :(

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