New Industry Products

Maintenance-free Supercap Energy Storage for Modular DC UPS

September 11, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Bicker Elektronik offers with the new DC UPS system UPSI a modular and integrated solution with safe and durable battery technologies. The two new DC UPS modules Bicker UPSI-1208 (12Vdc) and Bicker UPSI-2406 (24Vdc) are available in combination with the maintenance-free Supercap energy storage units Bicker BP-SUC (up to 3.6kJ).

The supplied dc consumers are reliably protected against power failures, flicker or voltage fluctuations in unstable supply networks. In case of emergency, the DC UPS system provides an exactly regulated output voltage of 12Vdc or 24Vdc without interruption.

The achievable bridging times with supercap energy storage BP-SUC range up to minutes, depending on the supplied load. For example motors or actuators can be moved to a defined basic safety position or the current process step in automation can be completed. In case of prolonged failure, PC-based systems can be shut down in a controlled manner via UPSI system and corresponding software settings, so that no data can be damaged or lost.

In the area of ​​uninterruptible dc power supply, the modular UPS system UPSI in conjunction with maintenance-free supercap energy storage can be used in a variety of application fields: Safety and control technology, industrial automation, embedded industrial PCs, Industry 4.0 / IIoT components, robotics, motor drives, sensors, medical and laboratory technology, kiosk and self-payment solutions, vending machines, cash and payment systems, POS / POI, self-sufficient and hard-to-access systems, mobile applications in vehicles and many more.

Energy storage with maintenance-free supercap technology

Unlike batteries, which store energy by the detour of a chemical reaction, supercaps (ultra capacitores) are based on electrophysical principles and are charged and ready for use within a very short time. supercaps operate in a wide temperature range and convince with high current capacity, power density and reliability.

Due to the high cycle stability (>500,000 charge and discharge cycles), energy storage units with supercaps have a particularly long service life and are practically maintenance-free. For the supplied application, this means an increase in long-term availability while minimizing the maintenance effort.

The integrated control circuit of the energy storage includes overcurrent protection and overvoltage protection (up to 30V). The Connect / Disconnect power function ensures that the energy storage device is only activated when correctly connected to the UPSI charging and control module.

Intelligent charging and control unit UPSI with many new features

The compact charging and control module Bicker UPSI - available in 12V and 24V dc versions - is connected to the supercap energy storage via two wires. In addition to the energy transmission line (BAT PWR), all relevant operating data of the energy storage device are continuously monitored and controlled on the data line (BAT DATA) via I2C interface. When changing the energy storage, which is possible even during operation (hot-swapping), a battery type ID authentication is performed so that the appropriate charging and discharging parameters can be automatically set on the DC-UPS.

The intelligent PowerSharing function on the input side ensures that the upstream ac-dc power supply does not have to be oversized, but the input power is kept constant and distributed accordingly to load and supercap charger. In other words, with low load at the output, more energy flows into the Supercap charger and vice versa.

The minimum load detection of the UPSI control unit monitors in backup mode (battery mode) the output load supplied from the energy storage system. If the load at the output falls below a certain threshold, the energy storage is automatically disconnected from the UPSI charging and control unit, so that the energy storage is not unnecessarily emptied by the DC-UPS electronics.

In addition, minimum load detection ensures that after a shutdown has been initiated, the computer system is properly shut down before the reboot function initiates the system reboot and startup.

Reboot function for PC-based systems

For PC-based controllers and computer systems, the integrated reboot function automatically restarts the PC system after a shutdown and a recurring supply voltage without the intervention of a service employee being necessary. In addition, a battery start function allows to manually activate the (separated) energy storage and thus initially start the system out of the battery, for example to carry out a diagnosis.

Interfaces and UPS software

For data communication with controllers or PC-based systems, USB and RS232 interfaces are available. With aid of the HID Battery Parameter Software, monitoring and settings can be comfortably made on the DC UPS. In addition, a comprehensive instruction set enables the direct readout of sensor values ​​and the setting of parameters. The software HID-Battery-Parameter is available on the manufacturer's website for free download.

All product features at a glance

  • Bicker UPSI-1208 12Vdc / 8A
  • Bicker UPSI-2406 24Vdc / 6A
  • DC UPS system (open-frame PCB version)
  • Flexible use of different battery technologies
  • Three integrated charging methods:
  • Constant Current (CC), Constant Voltage (CV) and Constant Power (CP)
  • Extended temperature range -20 to +70°C
  • Intelligent input current detection (PowerSharing)
  • Regulated output voltage during backup operation
  • Minimum load detection
  • Battery disconnect
  • Timer function
  • Battery-start function
  • Shutdown by external signal
  • Battery Hot Swap
  • Reboot function
  • Charge level indicator
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 105 x 68 x 17 mm ± 0.5 mm
  • Long-term availability at least 5 years
  • 3-year warranty