Publication Detail

Performance Testing of Supercapacitors: Important Issues and Uncertainties

UCD-ITS-RP-17-33

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Suggested Citation:
Zhao, Jingyuan, Yinhan Gao, Andrew Burke (2017) Performance Testing of Supercapacitors: Important Issues and Uncertainties. Journal of Power Sources 363, 327 - 340

Supercapacitors are a promising technology for high power energy storage, which have been used in some industrial and vehicles applications. Hence, it is important that information concerning the performance of supercapacitors be detailed and reliable so system designers can make rational decisions regarding the selection of the energy storage components. This paper is concerned with important issues and uncertainties regarding the performance testing of supercapacitors. The effect of different test procedures on the measured characteristics of both commercial and prototype supercapacitors including hybrid supercapacitors have been studied. It was found that the test procedure has a relatively minor effect on the capacitance of carbon/carbon devices and a more significant effect on the capacitance of hybrid supercapacitors. The device characteristic with the greatest uncertainty is the resistance and subsequently the claimed power capability of the device. The energy density should be measured by performing constant power discharges between appropriate voltage limits. This is particularly important in the case of hybrid supercapacitors for which the energy density is rate dependent and the simple relationship E = ½CV2 does not yield accurate estimates of the energy stored. In general, most of the important issues for testing carbon/carbon devices become more serious for hybrid supercapacitors.

Keywords: Supercapacitors, Hybrid, Test procedures, Resistance, Power capability, Energy density