Today's industrial environments offer many opportunities for supercapacitors to improve operational efficiencies, ensure reliabiable operation, save energy and save money. Sophisticated factories require clean continuous power for uninterrupted operation. Supercapacitors offer a long life maintenance free option for these situations. There are applications for peak load shaving, energy recapture, ride through, and various UPS configurations. Supercapacitors excel in these areas and can help save on maintenance cost, reduce energy consumption and improve reliability of operations.
An application for supercapacitors growing in popularity is the AGV application. The AGV's have typically used batteries, but suffer from reliability issues, short life, poor power performance and long recharge times. As compared to the batteries, supercapacitor AGV solutions are lighter weight, have a much longer life, are more reliable, have high power capability (for lifting operations) and can be rapidly recharged.
Large factories require clean continuous power for uninterrupted operation. Any imbalance between the grid power supply and the load can create issues if not managed effectively. A Supercapacitor bank can provide a fast response buffer to ensure stable power supply into the factory. Batteries are another option for this, but will require maintenance, a complex BMS and will need to be replaced more often. There are also opportunities to use Supercapactiors for frequency regulation in Power Grid applications.
Off-grid facilities usually rely on generators for power and can consume an enormous volume of fuel - especially in facilities with peak power demand events. Supercapacitors can be used to handle the peak power demand events enabling the generators to operate at a stable/lower RPM, which saves fuel, reduces emissions and can enable a downsized gen-set array.
Some facilities may require increased power supply into a facility to add new equipment or operations. In some cases it is not economically feasible to do this, which may involve extending overhead power lines, or digging trenches for underground power cables. If the new application involves some short duration peak power events, it is possible to use a bank of ultracapacitors to supply required power and avoid the cost of adding the infrastructure for increased power supply from the grid.
Many facilities use generators for long term back-up power in the event of a power outage. If the generator fails to start, major problems and costs soon follow. The main reason for a generator failing to start is due to battery failure. In a data center, the cost of downtime in 2019 was estimated to be $5k - $10k per minute; but this can be much higher for other facilities when you factor in all costs. If generators fail to start at Medical care facilities, or with air traffic control equipment, loss of life can occur. Ultracapacitors have a much longer life than a battery (10-15 years), are maintenance free, have a higher power capability resulting in faster starting, use simple monitoring electronics and have a simple and reliable EOL prediction capability. Using supercapacitors for generator starting can help avoid costly downtime and potentially save lives.
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