New Industry Products

Maintenance-free Supercapacitor-Based Energy Storage Modules

March 28, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Eaton today announced the XLR Supercapacitor Energy Storage Module designed to provide high reliability, long life and maintenance-free operation in systems requiring frequent high-current charge and discharge cycles in outdoor, rugged or high vibration and shock environments. As safer alternative to batteries, XLR Modules are designed for maintenance-free, up to 20-year lifespans to reduce the total cost of ownership of energy storage for applications such as microgrid systems; diesel-hybrid and electric busses, subways, trolleys and trains; hybrid power systems with fuel cells; seaport cranes and maritime equipment; forklifts, heavy construction and mining equipment.

“Supercapacitor-based modules are seeing high interest in several outdoor industrial and transportation applications because system operators are averse to the high costs and safety issues associated with batteries used for energy storage,” said Jason Lee, global product manager, Eaton’s Electronics Division. “Eaton Supercapacitor Modules are designed to last up to 20 years, with more than one million charge and discharge cycles, thereby reducing system cost over the lifetime of the application. The XLR is specifically designed to be installed in environments with wide temperature variations and high vibrations common on vehicles and heavy equipment.”

Supercapacitors are not susceptible to thermal runaway, a safety concern commonly associated with batteries. The XLR modules consist of 18 individual Eaton XL60 supercapacitor cells. The cells provide high reliability for long-life operation with very high efficiency. An operating temperature range of -40 to +65 degrees C, makes these modules higher in reliability than many lead-acid batteries.

Each XLR module is designed to provide 48.6 Volts, 166 Farads with 5 milliohms dc resistance for incorporation into systems requiring up to 750 Volts. In high current, constant charge and discharge applications, the module employs passive cooling for long, economical life. No monitoring or user controls are required and an integrated cell voltage balancing technology is pre-installed to optimize product lifespan.

At 14.7 kilograms, XLR modules are also lightweight alternatives to batteries. They are also lead-free and compliant with the Reduction of Hazardous Substance Directive (RoHS) for green applications. Eaton XLR Rugged Energy Storage Modules are available from Digi-Key Electronics and Mouser Electronics. Prices for the modules start $1296.75 in single units.