IDTechEx's Supercapacitor Europe 2014 conference is bringing the best of supercapacitor developments in the region and internationally to Berlin on 1-2 April. http://www.IDTechEx.com/SCEurope. Here, Franco Gonzalez, Technical Analyst at IDTechEx discusses some of the topics on offer at the Berlin show.
As previously explored, Supercapacitors are getting traction in the consumer electronics industry, and specifically smart phones. Leading companies and organisations gaining traction in this field will be present at Supercapacitor Europe 2014. Following the trend of increasingly thinner mobile phones and tablets, we will have Cap-XX, a leader in the supercapacitor industry, who has in its portfolio, supercapacitors in the range of 0.3-1mm of thickness. The company is pursuing licensees of its new technology for consumer electronics including smartphones. In this topic. Dr. Hiralal from Cambridge University will also speak about his work in collaboration with the Nokia Research Centre on circuit embedded supercapacitors for applications in mobile phones. This area is quite promising! IDTechEx's most recent forecasts in market report - Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors: Supercapacitors 2014-2024 - www.IDTechEx.com/edlc - estimates a value of $2.4 billion in 2024 for supercapacitors in electronics.
On another front, supercapacitors have now become a regular source of revenue for those companies that are selling to the automotive sector, such as Maxwell Technologies, whose supercapacitors are being used by PSA Peugeot Citroen. Only Maxwell Technologies did sales in excess of $100 million in 2013 in the transportation sector (automotive and hybrid bus) and estimates a very positive outlook for 2014. It is also worth pointing out that Chrysler is already leading the development of SAE standards for the supercapacitor industry; this was presented at IDTechEx's previous event in California last November. This denotes an increased awareness of the automotive sector to the advantages of the use of supercapacitors, namely that they can significantly improve fuel efficiency in petrol and hybrid vehicles and extend the lifetime of both batteries and fuel cells in pure electric cars, which are the most expensive components of any electric vehicle.
At Supercapacitors USA 2013, Maxwell Technologies stated the results of the tests conducted by Argonne National Laboratory in which the 'cycle capacity degradation of lithium ion batteries was decreased by a factor of 2 and the impedance degradation reduced by a factor of 6.' At Supercapacitors Europe 2014 we will have a follow up to this topic with Imperial College's Dr Billy Wu, who will present the analogous function of supercapacitors in fuel cells as life extenders. For more information on fuel cells see: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2014-2025: Forecasts - www.IDTechEx.com/fuel.
Whilst aware of their potential applications, Europe has been the only global region of high demand of supercapacitor technology with very low manufacturer's presence. However, this is changing and new players are emerging with new manufacturing plans in place. An example of this is Skeleton Technologies who are successfully executing their plans through a new supercapacitor manufacturing site in Bautzen Germany. The new VP of Manufacturing, Dr Kai Vuorilehto, together with Skeleton's CEO, Mr Taavi Madiberk will be presenting their latest progress in the developing and manufacturing high power supercapacitors session at Supercapacitors Europe 2014.
Are supercapacitors replacing batteries? As usual in IDTechEx conferences, this topic will be discussed. Of course not meaning that one industry will displace the other, we will rather discuss on an application basis how they supplement, replace or assist each other. Yet the technological capabilities of both devices are being combined now by several companies in what they call hybrid supercapacitors (also known as supercabatteries), a technology that combines the best of two worlds. An example of this will be presented by JSR Micro, who will present their progress in Lithium Ion Capacitor, i.e. a hybrid supercapacitor.
Please stay alert as more speakers will be announced in the following weeks for Supercapacitors Europe 2014 on 1-2 April in Berlin - the place to be to learn about the new emerging energy storage industry. We hope to see you!
Top image: Dr Cellular