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Precautions for Design when using Supercapacitors

When designing circuits for use with supercapacitors, please consider control methods, fail safes, and behavior during malfunctions.
  1. Please note that changes in the temperature or frequency of supercapacitors may cause changes in their electrical properties.
     
  2. If supercapacitors are used in the same system at greatly differing temperatures, it may lead to uneven changes in individual cell characteristics which cause the system to malfunction. Please design the system with adequate heat radiation to suppress temperature differences between supercapacitors.
     
  3. When heat increases are expected due to charging/discharging, conduct a load test to confirm that there is no abnormal heat rise, and that the temperature stays within the specified temperature range.
     
  4. Take care to ensure the appropriate current balance when connecting multiple supercapacitors in parallel.
     
  5. Take care to ensure the appropriate voltage balance when connecting multiple supercapacitors in series.
     
  6. If used outside of specifications, such as overvoltage or excess temperature, vaporized electrolyte may be expelled through the safety valve. So please take this into consideration during design.
     
  7. Please design for safety, such as halting charging when temperature or voltage abnormalities occur. Also, applying a continuous voltage in excess of the rating may cause components to smoke or catch fire. Please design the system with fail-safes.
     
  8. Because supercapacitors have internal resistance, the internal heat generated by charging and discharging affects their lifespans. Choose products with low internal resistance for applications that continuously charge or discharge at large currents, to ensure that the product temperature does not exceed the range for its category.
     
  9. When charging or discharging rapidly, there is a voltage drop as charge/discharge begins. This is due to the internal resistance of the capacitor (also called IR drop). Please take this into consideration during design.
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