Tech Talk - Supercapacitors for Hydrogen Applications - Ultracapacitors Explained - Hyfindr Honing

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Are they really the fastest and  most powerful storage for electrical   energy that you can get? Today we are  going to talk about supercapacitors,   what people call super caps. What's so special  about that material? 4000 farads drinkable. So,   nail polish remover. Nail polish remover.  Yeah. Exactly. Right. Welcome to Hyfindr Tech   Talks. Here we look at the technology  that makes the hydrogen economy work.  My name is Steven. And today I am joined by  Dennis, who is an electrical engineer and   has been dealing with supercaps for over  ten years. You've built applications with

them and you work for AEP Hybrid Power a company  that specializes in actually putting the right   combination of different kinds of energy sources  together for solutions. This is correct, right?  Thank you. Yes, yes. Welcome. And thank you  for making it all the way from the Netherlands   to here. And let's start with the basics. So,  Dennis, what is a super cap? So just to explain

a bit more about what the supercap is, I would  like to go back to a conventional capacitor. Yes.   A conventional capacitor is working in a way  that you have two plates, and the capacity is   depending on the surface of the plate on one  hand and also the distance between the plates.  So you want to have the biggest surface and  the smallest distance between the plates to   have the biggest capacity as possible. Okay. So  no one invites the electrical engineer without

getting an electrical diagram. And I see you  have one here. So can you take us through   this? You showed the plates? Yes. So these  are the plates that we were talking about.  And, in a circuit, you always need a voltage  source. Yes, yes. That could be, for instance,   a battery. Yes. You put a positive and negative  charge to it, to the plate. And what happens?

The negative ions will flow into the positive  plate. And the, on the other side, you will have a   shortage of ions. So you get a positively charged. And so basically the ions flow over here. What is   a dielectric? What is that? The dielectric is  the, between the two plates that they put like,   a dielectric material. Okay. To make sure  that you have a little bit better. Yeah,   permittivity of.. Okay. So it's a special kind  of material, which you obviously need for that.  And the bigger the plates. So that's the bit of  a formula there to show. Okay. Area dependent.

And so basically ions piling up here. And  when you take away the power they are still   there. And they will create a current okay.  Exactly. So now that is the basic capacitor.   But what is now a super capacitor. And I know  sometimes you talk about ultra capacitors even.  So what does that mean? So with a conventional  capacitor we talk about Milli, Microfarads. Yes,   yes. And with a super capacitor, you talk about,  several, thousands of Farad, so it's million times   bigger. So what in principle, the technology is  a little bit different, but it is also comparable

to, the capacitor. And the supercapacitor. They have made the surface as big as possible,   as you can see here. Yes. And they do  it with, activated carbon. It's a very   porous material. And this creates the very  large, surface of the electrode. Yes. Then,   super cap has also an electrolyte. Yes.  With a separator in between. Which makes   them also an electric double layer capacitor. That's the technical name of it. So in principle   you have two capacitors in one housing. what  happens if you put this. These are the plates.

You put a positive charge in a negative  charge on it. Then the ions will start to   flow. And what happens? You will create here  a small capacitor and here also a capacitor. So therefore, the explanation of electric  double layer capacitor. Okay. So that means   you have basically like a capacitor set up at  this side. And a capacitor set up at this side,

which is essentially that. And is my understanding  correct that by using these carbon coatings also   you increase the surface area. So it's  just a rough kind of surface which is   more surface area obviously, than a flat surface. Okay. Yeah. Okay. And also here the distance is   very small between the positive and negative.  Yeah. So therefore, yeah you get a very high

capacity okay. And now you, you keep showing us  these diagrams when I know that the capacitors   when you actually bring them. And I thank you  for bringing one. They are actually round.  So how does that work? Yeah. That's also  shown in this picture. you have these plates,   with a positive and negative and a separator in  between. And they are like rolled up, like a film   that is rolled up. Okay. To create a lot of layers  inside because each layer is very thin. And, yeah,

that's also needed to get this amount of capacity. So that means every, every film layer here is   basically this. And then they are rolled up.  But is it one long roll or is it just repeating   in concentric circles? It's one long roll. One  long roll. And where are the ends? You know? So   is this one end of the roll and this is the  other end of the roll, or is this connected   to every roll, basically every rotation  or every circle or whatever you call it.

So, in principle, if you can see here,  yeah, you have the positive separator   and the negative. This is rolled up. Yeah. So  all the positives are brought to one pole and   all the negative parts of the electrode  is to the other side. To the other side.   Okay. Yeah. You see plus and minus there. Okay. So they are all connected. Okay. So I know that,   so one cell, it says here has three volts. Okay.  And I know that you actually specialize also in   putting these things in modules. So how does that  work in a module? Exactly. So yeah, normally in

an application you want to have a large a voltage. Yeah. Yeah. To make it usable. Yes. So, one cell,   three volt is very small. Yeah. So you need  to connect them in series to get to higher   voltage levels. Okay. Okay. I actually..  One thing I wanted to ask, and I'm sorry for   skipping back there is, before we get to the  actual series, it's just a little bit again,   about the inside, of the actual chemistry. So what actually, what is this material? And   why would ions do that? Can I use any material?  Can I just use wood or what? You know, like,   what's so special about that material? This  is a material, which is also, of course,   continuously developing. Yeah. Because, you  want to have a good conductivity inside,   so that the ions can flow easily because this is  also creating a resistance inside the capacitor.

So the better the the conductivity inside,  the better, the lower the resistance of the   capacitor. But you need it also to ionize.  Okay. But what material is it? Does it have a   name or? It's comparable to nitrile. Yeah.  So, it's comparable to, to nail remover.   So, nail polish remover. Nail  polish remover. Exactly. Right okay.  Okay. Good. Okay. So then now with the nail polish  remover, and one cell and we've got it. So coming   back to modules and, I see you even brought one  here. So in this case we have multiple of these   as far as I see. So how does it work when  you actually want to put these in modules?

Yeah. So, we connect these cells like I mentioned  before, we connect all these cells in series.   Yes. To get to higher voltage levels. But due to  small internal, tolerances of each cell. Because   they are never 100% exact. Yes. Always. One  is 3100 Farad, one is 3050 Farads. Right. So   there are small deviations. Yeah. And what  happens if you put them all in series?

You charge them then you get deviations in  voltage levels. Okay. Okay. Because voltage   is a quite critical part of a super capacitor.  You do never want to have it overcharged. And   also for the longer time. So for the  lifetime of the super cap, you want to   have them as equal as possible. So, yeah. To  make them all each also on an equal level.  So what we do is we have a balancing and  monitoring of each cell. So each individual   cell is being checked on the voltage level.  Yes. And our monitoring system of AP makes

sure that each cell is charged. Okay. With the  same voltage. So why don't we just go ahead   and have a look at that a little bit? Let me see if I can move this around. And,   just get this also a little bit more into the  camera. Yeah. So yeah. So basically just what   we see here, I mean we can see it on this side.  They are they all have two ends like this one.

Yeah. And one end is popping up. Yeah. Plus  and a minus. And one end is popping up here.  And the at the bottom, the two ends are connected  with the plate. Yeah. Exactly. And we can see   down there. Yeah. So it's a serial connection  of each cell. So. Yeah. There are 48 cells in   the module. Yeah. And the plus is being  connected to the next minus. And then the   other plus is connected to the next minus. Okay. So it's in serial connection okay. So when we look   at the top here I mean I think what we can see  here, is so which two are these two connected   at the bottom. These two will be connected at  the bottom right. Yeah. Exactly. So and I mean,

from the simple view of it, why do you have more  going on here than just a simple connection?  What is this? And can you take us through that?  Yes, yes. So, each two cells are connected,   here to this balancing board. Yes. The middle  point of these cells are connected to the display.   So we know exactly what the voltage is on one  cell and what the voltage is on the other cell.   So this here is connected to the bottom plate. And in this way you know the current between.

The voltage in between. And so obviously  the current voltage on this one here and   the current voltage on this one here okay.  And there's your measuring elements there.   And so okay. Yeah. And we know exactly what the  voltage is. This is sent to a central device.  Yes. And we can decide. Okay. This cell has  more charge than the other cells. Yeah. So

please discharge this cell a bit to make it in  line with the other cells. Okay. And then the   information of this then I would assume probably  goes to a central unit here. Okay. And who takes   the decision? Is the decision taken here or is  it here or does it go to some central system?  Yeah. So to go a little bit deeper. Yeah.  The weight how AP is balancing the cells

is on three levels. Yeah. One on cell level.  And so what you see here is a balancing board   on each cell. Yes. the voltage and  temperature is being measured. Then   from these cells all information of these  cells is collected in an MMU we call it. Yeah, it's a central device of a module. Yes. So  the MMU is controlling all the cells inside this   module. This one module. Yes. And then we bring a  signal out from this module with optical plus to   and MCU. Then you have your optical connectors  here. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So that goes in

there. So then you also have a good isolation. So we also use these modules in higher voltage   systems. And you want to have a good electrical  isolation in your communication system. So we use,   their optic coplers. Okay. Nevertheless  they do. This gets its power from there.   Or there's a separate power supply for this?  No, each module is creating its own power.  So they don't need a separate power supply. Okay,  so okay. And with that, it's enough power to send

out the optical signal. Yeah, it's it's a light  signal. So on the other end, we receive this light   signal, and then we know what is happening inside.  Okay. So you're balancing each cell like this.   Is it very similar to the battery management  system kind of or? It's comparable because a   battery system is also made out of smaller cells. Yeah. So the same happens here. Only the way of,   of treating a super cap is different  than a battery. So and the, the inside,

the real electronics is a bit different than  a normal battery. Okay. So it's a management   system. So is it okay if you say the way is a  bit different. So I mean okay so you mentioned   the temperature and essentially the voltage. And you have the ability to, to balance that   out. So a module like this you know how much  power or what does it contain if I can ask

that way. Yeah I mean we saw this one here is  3000 Farad. Yeah. Yeah. So this how much would   that be? To explain that, I would like to show you  also, the different technologies that there are,   the most used technologies that are in the market. Yeah. Because the super cap is often used for   power applications. Okay. If you look at the  capacitor. Then the ultra capacitor can store

energy, but it's less than compared to batteries  or fuel cells. Still it has much more capacity   than conventional capacitors. So it's somewhere  in between. And usually what we see is that,   a supercapacitor can be very interesting,  technology for capturing regenerative   energy or for applications where you need  very high power for during a short time.  Because the big advantage of ultra caps is  that you can charge them and discharge them   with the same power. And they have a very  low internal resistance. And therefore they   can deliver a lot of power. So very quickly. They  can release it instantaneously, much quicker than   even a than a battery. Okay. So, so what kind of  applications need that kind of energy basically.

Yeah. You can imagine, for instance for  stabilizing a DC grid. Yes. Okay. And where   you have a high cyclic load. Yes. And you have  energy sources that cannot follow this, this,   this dynamic load. Yes. Yeah. There super  caps can be very, very good technology to   use. Okay. To understand. Okay. And just  going back to this diagram here. Here we   have energy density versus power density okay. So this means how much energy am I storing per

kilo. So per weight. So there you have okay.  Batteries higher. And I mean fuel cells okay.   When they convert from hydrogen also higher.  The supercapacitor in terms of energy density   is lower but seems to be much, much higher.  And this is a logarithmic scale. Yeah.

Now in terms of power density. So yes. So I do not  have to carry much weight to have a lot of power.   But it's for a short time. Exactly, exactly. Yeah.  Yeah. So it really depends on the application what   the best technology source is. Okay. And this  is, this is, well, but this is like a rocket.  Yeah. Anybody ever thought about building a  rocket with this? I mean, if you need a lot   of power for a short time. Yeah. I mean, ever  thought about that at AEP Hybrid Power? We are   not into a rocket or space application yet.  Okay. But I know that they are also used for,

for aviation and also for space technology  because of the big benefits that they have,   they can work with a very big, temperature window. Yeah. -40 to plus 60 degrees. They also have   millions of cycles, and they can last  for maybe 10 to 20 years in a, in an   application. So. Okay. Okay, Dennis, we've  seen this now. So having understood this,   what is a typical application where we would see  a Super Cap module like this one for example. Yeah   I would like to show you first and a diagram  of a typical system where you can combine a   super cap with a fuel cell and with the battery. Okay. This is an example of a load where you have   what you have here on the left side. So there can  be an, a big motor or it can be the grid. Okay.   And you have a system with a fuel cell. So here's  the load here AC, DC converters okay. Yeah okay.

So this all works on DC obviously. Yes. Exactly.  You have the fuel cell which doesn't have a stable   output voltage with the AC DC converter.  Yes. Created into a DC grid a DC link. Yes.   But this fuel cell can never follow the load  on the output side. Yes. So you need to have   some energy storage in between. Yes. If you talk about big applications,   then you can imagine. Yeah, you want to have,  for the short big power peaks. Yes. Use the

super caps. And for the longer, power, peaks  of, let's say a couple of hours. Yeah, yeah. You   can take the batteries. This is a typical  application where you can have also the three,   different sources installed. Combined. Combined. We have built an ultra cap system, for this   application. I would like to show you this is a  very big crane. One megawatt can take of power.   And yeah. This, only has to hoist a load and then  lower it. And this is a movement of about half   a minute. If you would do that with batteries,  you would get a very big and expensive system.

Yes. Doing this with the super caps, you can  build it in a very small container cabinet.   Here is an example where we have, included a  supercapacitor system inside a cabinet with a   DC-DC converter. Another converter part, so we can  do also the complete, yeah, interface of a system   to make a complete, working propulsion system. Okay. Well, but this is beautiful. I mean,   because this, this is obviously going up and  down, up and down, up and down, up and down.   And, I think you mentioned sometime that it  can do.. That a supercapacitor is is happy   to do millions of cycles. Yeah, exactly. Whereas  batteries tend to get a bad mood after a while.

Okay. So that means that the Super cap can take  the up and down of the crane. Yeah. And then the   batteries will obviously help with a longer power  supply, or the lighter. And then the fuel cell   is the basic, power of energy on the vessel.  Okay. Wow. So this is a great example. And,   so what is the cost when we look at  all this, you know? So, are super   caps expensive? Are millions being built already? Yeah. Can you give us a perspective there? Yeah,

if you look at this application where you  need it for a couple of seconds. Yes. There   super caps can be much cheaper, if you mount  them in a system than compared to batteries.   If you go for a larger system, then you  need to have so many capacitors inside.  Then, maybe another technology like a battery  is cheaper. So you really need to do a good   engineering. Yeah. Look at the application.  What is the power profile? And, Yeah. How

can we solve it with, super caps, combination  of super caps with battery fuel cell or only,   super caps with a fuel cell. So, okay. That  means that a super cap can help make the   battery so much smaller that it becomes so much  cheaper that it's absolutely paying for itself.  Kind of. So if you engineer it right. You can  save a lot of money on batteries. Okay. By using   super caps. Okay. Wow. So that means, that this  has great potential. Can you give us a bit of an

outlook? Where is this going? What are you seeing?  Yeah. In terms of also the hydrogen economy with   the super caps. Yeah. So, what we see is on  the one hand, because of the electrification.  Yes. More loads are becoming electric. Yes.  Creating a lot of peaks on the other end,   we have the renewable energy sources, that  are slow in response times. Yeah. To ramp

up the power. And there super caps can be a very  good technology for the future. So I see a big,   future for super caps to use them there. And I even have a small present for you.   I took a capacitor here. This is the only  supercapacitor that you can drink because   there's beer inside. Okay. Wow, this is nice.  You see, they have this size of a popular,   don't drink. Thank you very much. By AEP  Hybrid Power. Okay. Enjoy it. 4000 Farad.

Drinkable. Okay. Now, I'm all  flattered. Thank you very much,   Dennis, for making it all the way here. This  has been super interesting. I hope that you   have enjoyed this video as well, like we did.  If you did, please subscribe. Or actually,

you could even like this video and go to  Hyfindr.com where you can find this kind of   materials and other things which are related  to the hydrogen economy, which will make   the hydrogen economy work better and faster. And as we learned, if you engineer it right,   then it's even cheaper. Thank you very much  for watching I hope you watch another video.   Thank you very much for coming, Dennis.  Have a wonderful day. Thank you.

2024-07-28 09:14

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