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Bump4life

Bump4life's SuperCapacitor Overview and Testing

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Hello all

Supercapacitors aka ultracapacitors seem to be the new thing that people are starting to run!


The first thing I want to say is, you CANNOT compare these to batteries. They are a totally different animal. Capacitors differ from batteries because they do not have a reserve like batteries. one of these capacitors is capable of 3 watt hours. so in series your watt hours remains the same. so we have 3 watt hours per bank. so if you have lets say 5 banks, this means you have 15 watt hours. lets compare this to a battery. a group 31 battery such as the XS Power D3100 has 110 Amp Hours. to convert this to watt hours you multiply 12.9 volts (resting voltage of battery) by 110( amp hours) to obtain 1419 watt hours.

on the other hand we look at ESR (equivalent series resistance or internal resistance measured in ohms). the capacitors have .29 milli ohms. for those who dont know the conversion that is .00029 ohms. for all intended purposes thats pretty much a dead short when connecting devices to it. Please refer to the charging section on how to charge these for this low esr is the reason for the special charging process.


the esr of a car audio battery such as the d3100 (unknown at this time) is much more which doesnt allow as much current flow our of it to supply our amps.


here is data sheet for the maxwell ultra caps.

https://www.maxwell.com/products/ultracapacitors/docs/datasheet_k2_series_1015370.pdf

i might go over each section of the data sheet individually at some point but until then look it over and be amazed. a key point id like to point out is look at operating temperature. and also look at temperature under load. those are key points when designing a system with these.

the common brand is maxwell and they came in 2.5 volt 2600Farad per cap (older ones, will always be sold as USED) and the NEWEST ones 2.7 volt 3000 Farad per cap.

here is a good read and a comparison between batteries and super caps with a lot of charts.

http://www.koldban.com/Kapower_White_Paper_s/30.htm

NEW VS OLD, SIZE, AND WHY BUY NEW?


sorry for the sign. this is only pic i have atm. this is what the NEWEST ones will look like. If you are buying anything else, they are probably not new.

CEBF06C9-4207-45FF-8BA2-1D38C4AE8190_zps



THESE I AM NOT SURE OF ORIGIN. These caps I have only found on ebay. No authorized dealer such as mouser electronics etc, sells these.
I believe they might be a knock off of the maxwells OR they are a previous model of the current ones. Either way if your caps say BOOSTCAP i would question the legitimacy of them. They will be USED unless someone stock piled them. I would recommend to stay away.

UPDATE on boostcaps: so i confirmed something today about the boost caps. if your capacitors say boost cap they are last years model. i believe from 2012 to early 2013. they still SHOULD say maxwell technologies on them.

on the boostcap it says patent pending. on the new blue caps it only says maxwell. My guess would be they got the patent approved. Thus if you have the boost caps they are still authentic maxwell. just all of them if bought will be used, so if someone is trying to sell you them for a new price id call them out.


they look like this.

Maxwell_BoostCap_BCAP3000E_Ultracapacito


These are what the old ones look like.
They are harder to find now and are not sold new. But they still work well. Only difference is voltage and capacity. please refer to the capacitor basics section.

IMG_3009_zps4c547c0e.jpg

They are very small! For those interested in a size comparison, for every 3 banks of caps they are slightly larger than a d3100. The older black ones are much bigger than the new blue caps.

67BDA131-D50D-462A-ADE1-22EFC570874F_zps


So why buy new? Well for the average person, you wont be able to test the esr. This is internal resistance. This is the reason we buy the caps, so we can have power at a moments notice. As caps get older, cycled, and abused, this number increased, which means your performance goes down. You need a fairly expensive machine to be able to test this rating on such a large capacitor. This test would be similar to a load test on a battery. increased esr can lead to lowered capacitance as well. Why does this matter? You might just say well for half the price Ill buy used and I will still be ahead. Well in a sense that is true, but you must also now consider balancing circuits. I will get into that in another section. But long story short, different capacitance and esr values promotes uneven voltages within your capacitor banks meaning one cap might be at 2.9 volts while the other may be at 2.5 volts. that is not good and we can discuss how to avoid that in the balancing section. new caps make this process much easier.

The next question is the internal insulator. The voltage rating for the blue caps are 2.7 volts with a surge current of 2.85. if the voltage goes over this at any time, the internals will start to break down, when this happens, there is a risk for explosion. These capacitors do have a "blow off valve" as a safety measure if anyone wants to test it out ( I have not blown one of these up and dont plan on it). You wont know the condition of the insulator if you bought used caps, there is no way to test it. It will either fail or work. but if you start charging to the upper end, there is no guarantee it will work perfectly and may give out.


Unlike batteries you cant load test these to see if they are good. There are machines to test the capacitance of them, but once agian very expensive and your average shop wont have it. My multimeter has a capacitor check and goes up to like 50000 micro farads or something which is no where near 3000 Farads. I have never bought batteries used and have never bought caps used. Of course if you buy used caps, they will most likely work fine. I am not saying don't try to save money. I am just saying make sure their previous user did not abuse them. try to get a history of them before you buy and see what they were charged to if you can. Also ask what was run off them. running too much current off of too few banks can heat them up and the same internal breakdown can happen. And if you want peace of mind, with warranty, just buy new.



Capacitor Basics
For those of you that have no idea about caps ill give you a quick background.

you run the capacitors in series (minimum of 6) to obtain a high enough voltage capacity to run the banks in parallel with your car.

voltage with capacitors in series adds so Vtotal = V1+V2....Vn,,, so an example is 6 2.7 volt super capacitors in series will yeild a maximum safe charge voltage of up to 16.2 volts. you can charge slightly above 16.2 for very very short periods of time but is NOT reccommended. sometimes the caps have what is called a spike rating where they can handle slighly more voltage than rated for small periods of time. over charging leads to gassing and electrons jumping the gap between conductors in the cap. this can also cause a cap exploision in some cases. but mainly overcharging causes caps to go bad and to increase the ESR. In car audio applications, voltage spikesusually arent a worry, or shouldnt be. you can run them at any voltage below but be carful if they drain too low unattached from your system. if the voltage falls low when you hook the bank (6 caps) up to your car or other power source they will try to draw a TON of current (enough to melt large gauge wire and connections) that is why they must be charged with some sort of resistor value until they are close to your batterys resting voltage.

i will get into capacitor safety at some point. but if you are an electrical newbie i would not reccommend playing around with these because they can be very dangerous.

next I'd like to talk about capacitance. you hear 3000 Farads per cap!?! wow so 18000 Farads for a bank awesome! WRONG.

each bank of caps (6 2.5 VOlt, 3000 Farad) has a capacitance of 500 F. This is because capacitance of caps in series is Ftotal= 1captotal/#of caps or 1/C = 1/C1 + 1/C2 + . . + 1/Cn

capacitors can help your voltage tremendously but they are not a solution to be demoing all day if you dont have enough of them or a good way to charge them!! ill touch more on this later!!


check out snafu's capacitor videos to see how it all works and also the benefits for your system that they can have.

the reason that we always hated caps was because we never really had enough capacitance for the tremendous amount of power that we draw and couldnt keep up thus were being drained instantly and just added a load to the system.


here is a good read that explains things maybe a little better than me

http://www.tecategroup.com/ultracapacitors-supercapacitors/ultracapacitor-FAQ.php#How_do_ultracapacitors_differ_from_battery_and_traditional_capacitors\





edit 11-6-2013:

the newer 2.7 volt caps are better in terms of capacity and potential.

the energy stored by caps is in the form below...

power in joules or energy stored = .5 x C x V^2
W = 1/2 C V2
where
W = energy stored (Joules)
C = capacitance (Farad)
V = potential difference (Voltage)


thus

with 2.5Volt caps (bank of 6 in series, 15 volts, 433 F)

.5 x 433 x 15^2 = 48712.5 Joules per bank max capacity


with 2.7 Volt caps (bank of 6 in series, 16.2 volts, 500 F)

.5 x 500 x 16.2^2 = 65610 J per bank max capacity


as you can see the 2.7 have a higher capacity. you dont need to charge them that high but you can see that since the formula depends on the capacitance, a larger capacitance will always yield more energy storage capability. also a higher voltage will will yield more storage. but if you dont charge over 15volts then the only difference is the capacitance. either way the 2.7 volt 3000 F caps are better given all the other parameters are the same such as ESR and the materials that they are made of.


now to translate this into use in our car.

if you charge at 14.2 volts (engine hot).

your caps have the ability to store

(2.5 Volt 2600 F bank of 6 in series) .5 x 433 x 14.2 ^2 = 43655.06 Joules
(2.7 Volt 3000 F bank of 6 in series) .5 x 500 x 14.2 ^2 = 50410 Joules


lets transfer this into power.
Joules to watts calculation formula
The power P in watts (W) is equal to the energy E in joules (J), divided by the time period t in seconds (s):
P(W) = E(J) / t(s)
So
watt = joule / second
or
W = J / s

To put this simple. It would take a lot of caps to sustain music daily.

but for pure spl burp applications which generally are a 3 second burst, caps can be feasible.

so to get our power for one bank of caps we have
2.5 Volt 2600 F caps P = 43655.06 Joules / 3 seconds = 14551.68 Watts
2.7 Volt 3000 F caps P = 50410 Joules / 3 seconds = 16803.33 Watts

now you may say wow what a number!!! i only need 1 bank. wrong. let me explain.

this number in watts is how much the cap bank could supply down to 0V. our audio equipment and car can not run on anything less than 12 volt (safely)

so we must only take the energy stored from 14.2 volts down to lets say 12 volts.

to do this we calculate our joules at 14.2 volts and joules at 12 volts and subtract from one another.

energy of fully charged caps at engine hot charge
(2.5 Volt 2600 F bank of 6 in series) .5 x 433 x 14.2 ^2 = 43655.06 Joules
(2.7 Volt 3000 F bank of 6 in series) .5 x 500 x 14.2 ^2 = 50410 Joules

Energy @ 12 volts still in caps
(2.5 Volt 2600 F bank of 6 in series) .5 x 433 x 12 ^2 = 31176 Joules
(2.7 Volt 3000 F bank of 6 in series) .5 x 500 x 12 ^2 = 36000 Joules

Power released by caps draining from 14.2 volts to 12 volts
(2.5 Volt 2600 F bank of 6 in series) 43655.06 Joules - 31176 Joules = 12479 Joules
(2.7 Volt 3000 F bank of 6 in series) 50410 Joules - 36000 joules = 14410 Joules


thus power that we are able to supply to amps from 14.2 volts dropping to 12 volts for a 3 second draw.
2.5 Volt 2600 F caps P = 12479 Joules / 3 seconds = 4159.66 Watts
2.7 Volt 3000 F caps P = 14410 Joules / 3 seconds = 4803.33 Watts


2.5 Volt 2600 F caps P = 43655.06 Joules / 3 seconds = 14551.68 Watts
2.7 Volt 3000 F caps P = 50410 Joules / 3 seconds = 16803.33 Watts


please remember to account for an amplifier efficiency of about 80% and also losses in wire due to resistance and resistance of capacitor.

to be safe after 80% efficiency and a little more

2.5 Volt 2600 F caps P = 4159.66 Watts x .8 = 3327.728 W for 3 seconds dropping to 12 volts
2.7 Volt 3000 F caps P = 4803.33 Watts x .8 = 3842.664 W for 3 seconds dropping to 12 volts

now your voltage is dropping so your amplifier output will drop as well but you also will have an alternator recharging the caps as well as batteries kicking in to help once you drop down to their resting voltage.

but these are all rough calculations. so results may vary. more tests on the way!!

ill add more stuff as i have time and think of it

How many Caps do I need?



Connecting Hardware and Configuration (ie. Busbars)




Balancing Circuits






Charging the capacitors

I WOULD NOT hook up the caps straight to the battery to charge them, you will melt the wire. I have melted the end of 1/0 KNU OFC when I experimented doing this to see results. dangerous. the sparks will fly.


The way I do it for anyone interested, I made a resistive circuit. Take 6 50 ohm 5 watt resistors and hook them up in parallel.then attach one end (with wire and a lug) to the caps and the other end to a battery charger. the charger I use is the ctek 7002. put the battery charger on supply mode (13.6 volts @ 7.5 amps continous), let caps charge up to 5 volts. this takes maybe an hour or 2 at most.
next remove the resistors. and you can hook the bat charger straight too the cap but this time in agm bat charge mode. this already limits current so you do not need the resistors. and this will charge the rest of the way fairly quickly.

in this picture the resistive circuit is attached. I also submerged it in water since they do get very hot still. Only issue I am finding is some sort of corrosion or oxidation (due to a lot of chemistry and electron flow I dont understand lol) is taking place and is taking the resistor leads down until they break. I am currently working on a better solution. the water cooling probably isnt necessary, but place the resisitors in a safe place not touching anything.

IMG_5011_zps617163c2.jpg


IMG_5020_zps4cab8b76.jpg



Safety




My Personal Thoughts





Most Asked Questions and Answers



Where to Buy

Edited by Bump4life
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some testing i did.

These were all idle tests in park.

2600F Maxwell caps, 2.5 volt. so 15volt 433 Farads. Copper straps.

ALl OFC wiring Big 3 4 gauge, stock 90A alt , 0 gauge OFC run to back. stock battery up front D3400 in rear.

AMp DD M3b @.5 ohm on DD Z9515.

alt ------ front bat ------ rear battt ------ caps ---- amps

# of caps Start Voltage end voltage notes

0 banks 14.1 11.5 20 second 42hz burp

1 bank 14.0 12.6 20 second 42hz burp

1 bank 13.8 12.4 1:00 min on music BME CLick

2 banks 13.8 13.1 30 second 42 hz burp

2 banks 13.7 (hot voltage) 12.6+ music constant BME click with rpm at 2k

IMG_3022_zpsed4e7cd9.jpg

Edited by Bump4life
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Buyer/Seller Feedback Thread: http://www.stevemead...5015-bump4life/
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My SPL Log: http://www.stevemead...__fromsearch__1

Mercedes Benz AMG C43
Highs/Mid Highs/Mid-Bass
TBD
SUB-Stage
TBD
Electrical
TBD
Best Scores out of a trunk
153.0 sealed legal full tilt clamped 5524 @ 42 hz
154+ windows down, 155+ kick

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and then....


My old YouTube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/SwordLords1234?feature=mhee

My old build log : http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/161872-96-accord-b2-sundown-sky-high-dc-power-re-re-build-for-heatwave/page-37

My New Build - http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/207041-2016-mazda-6-sql-build/

2016 Mazda 6 Touring

JL Fix 86 - OEM signal correction

B2 prototype DSP 6to8

B2 Ref63 - 3 way active set

2 B2 Class H quattro's

1 B2 Zero.5R @.5

2 B2 HNv3 12 d2

B2 SLIP40 - Lithium in the trunk

Northstar Group 35 under the hood

100ft 2/0 welding cable

30ft 4ga welding cable

20ft 8ga welding cable

All stinger OFC speaker wire

Soundrive custom RCA's

Tons of attention to detail.... Can it be perfect?

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and then....

updated :)_


Buyer/Seller Feedback Thread: http://www.stevemead...5015-bump4life/
MB C220 153 Trunk Car Build Log: http://www.stevemead...d/#entry1840136
MB C280 Ipad Dash SQ Build Log: http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/194484-bump4lifes-new-benz-tony-c-relay-kit-pictures-ce-electric-audison-front-stage-installed/
My SPL Log: http://www.stevemead...__fromsearch__1

Mercedes Benz AMG C43
Highs/Mid Highs/Mid-Bass
TBD
SUB-Stage
TBD
Electrical
TBD
Best Scores out of a trunk
153.0 sealed legal full tilt clamped 5524 @ 42 hz
154+ windows down, 155+ kick

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caps suck nobody buy them :ehh:

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This isn't teeball. YOU DO NOT GET A TROPHY JUST BECAUSE YOU SHOW UP. Put the work in and then maybe get the respect when it has been earned

151.6 with single 12 at 41 hz

153.2 with 2 12's at 43 hz

power: dd m4

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Looks like it helped! did you hook it up before or after the battery in reverse line from the amplifiers? First being inbetween the amp and the battery.

Looks like 1 or two of those might need to be in my future.


My old YouTube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/SwordLords1234?feature=mhee

My old build log : http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/161872-96-accord-b2-sundown-sky-high-dc-power-re-re-build-for-heatwave/page-37

My New Build - http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/207041-2016-mazda-6-sql-build/

2016 Mazda 6 Touring

JL Fix 86 - OEM signal correction

B2 prototype DSP 6to8

B2 Ref63 - 3 way active set

2 B2 Class H quattro's

1 B2 Zero.5R @.5

2 B2 HNv3 12 d2

B2 SLIP40 - Lithium in the trunk

Northstar Group 35 under the hood

100ft 2/0 welding cable

30ft 4ga welding cable

20ft 8ga welding cable

All stinger OFC speaker wire

Soundrive custom RCA's

Tons of attention to detail.... Can it be perfect?

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Looks like it helped! did you hook it up before or after the battery in reverse line from the amplifiers? First being inbetween the amp and the battery.

Looks like 1 or two of those might need to be in my future.

edited ato show. will do testing with placement of caps in system but it really shoudnt matter much. the voltage drop of wire would be only difference


Buyer/Seller Feedback Thread: http://www.stevemead...5015-bump4life/
MB C220 153 Trunk Car Build Log: http://www.stevemead...d/#entry1840136
MB C280 Ipad Dash SQ Build Log: http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/194484-bump4lifes-new-benz-tony-c-relay-kit-pictures-ce-electric-audison-front-stage-installed/
My SPL Log: http://www.stevemead...__fromsearch__1

Mercedes Benz AMG C43
Highs/Mid Highs/Mid-Bass
TBD
SUB-Stage
TBD
Electrical
TBD
Best Scores out of a trunk
153.0 sealed legal full tilt clamped 5524 @ 42 hz
154+ windows down, 155+ kick

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where are you guys buying these at

i can hook you up if needed. lol

im trying to put a group buy together so we can get them cheaper.

but im also working on someting with a distributor in china.

but as of right now they are sold at mouser electronics and on ebay. and a few other various stores.


Buyer/Seller Feedback Thread: http://www.stevemead...5015-bump4life/
MB C220 153 Trunk Car Build Log: http://www.stevemead...d/#entry1840136
MB C280 Ipad Dash SQ Build Log: http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/194484-bump4lifes-new-benz-tony-c-relay-kit-pictures-ce-electric-audison-front-stage-installed/
My SPL Log: http://www.stevemead...__fromsearch__1

Mercedes Benz AMG C43
Highs/Mid Highs/Mid-Bass
TBD
SUB-Stage
TBD
Electrical
TBD
Best Scores out of a trunk
153.0 sealed legal full tilt clamped 5524 @ 42 hz
154+ windows down, 155+ kick

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