New Industry Products

Supercaps Enable Rugged DC UPS with IP67 Protection and Wide Input Range

October 13, 2019 by Paul Shepard

For reliable protection against power failure, flicker and voltage fluctuations Bicker Elektronik, Donauwörth, has introduced two new uninterruptible dc power supplies for use in extreme environmental conditions: the UPSI-1208IP-23UW with 12Vdc output (8A) and UPSI-2406IP-24UW with 24Vdc output (5.42A). The outdoor DC UPS units are dust and waterproof in accordance with protection class IP67. The robust aluminum housing contains the complete DC UPS control and charging electronics as well as the maintenance-free long-life supercapacitor energy storage.

The well-engineered circuit design and the high quality of all components used in the closed system allows fanless 24/7 continuous operation in the extended temperature range from -20 to +70 °C. The intelligent DC UPS with tailor-made software provides a well featured complete system with added value for demanding customers and applications.

Typical applications of UPSI-IP-2 series include heavy industry, petrochemical industry, tunneling and mining, safety and building technology, offshore / onshore energy, communications, commercial and special vehicles, industrial trucks, food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, agriculture, medical and laboratory technology. The UPS systems ensure the uninterruptible and safe dc power supply of sensitive and process-relevant control modules, embedded computers, actuators, sensors, motor drives, etc.

Maintenance-free Supercapacitor energy storage technology

Supercapacitors can be charged and ready for use within a very short time, operate in a wide operating temperature range and convince with a high current-carrying capacity, power density and reliability. Due to the high cycle stability (> 500,000 charge and discharge cycles), energy storage units with supercapacitors 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 maintenance efforts.

On the input side, both DC UPS systems have a high-efficiency dc-dc converter with ultra-wide-range input from 7- to 36-Vdc (UPSI-1208IP-23UW) or 8- to 36-Vdc (UPSI-2406IP-24UW). To suppress network-sided electromagnetic interference, an additional EMC filter module is upstream of the converter.

Intelligent DC UPS control and charging electronics

In normal operation, the microcontroller-controlled system electronics of the integrated UPS module provide the nominal output voltage, charge the supercapacitors and monitor the voltage thresholds at the input. If the voltage falls below the defined voltage threshold, the system switches to the UPS backup mode within fractions of a second and ensures the uninterruptible and regulated output voltage for 12Vdc or 24Vdc consumers.

The intelligent distribution of charging currents (PowerSharing) ensures that the input power is kept constant and distributed accordingly to the supplied load and the supercapacitor charger. With a lower load at the output, more energy flows into the supercapacitor charger and vice versa.

Minimum load detection (load sensor)

The minimum load detection monitors the supplied output load during UPS backup operation. If the load at the output falls below a certain limit, the long-life supercapacitors are automatically disconnected from the control unit so that the energy storage device is not unnecessarily emptied by the DC UPS electronics.

The integrated reboot function can be used to activate the automatic restart of a supplied computer system as soon as the mains voltage returns during a shutdown or at a later time. For example, self-sufficient IPC or embedded box PC systems can be shut down in a controlled manner after a power failure and then restarted independently without any intervention of a service employee being necessary.

Software connection, pre-programming and monitoring

To set and pre-program the UPS parameters as well as for energy storage monitoring, the UPS software "UPSI HID Configuration" is available for free download at the respective product at For data communication with controllers or PC-based systems, the UPSI-IP-2 series has an integrated USB communication interface. In addition, a comprehensive instruction set enables the direct readout of sensor values and setting of parameters. The open communication protocol offers system developers individual possibilities of connection to their own system.

UPSI-IP-2 series also available with LiFePO4 battery technology

For even longer bridging times, Bicker Elektronik also offers the UPSI-IP-2 system with lithium-ion battery technology based on particularly safe and long-lasting lithium iron phosphate cells. Compared to LCO / NMC cells, the LiFePO4 cells have a much more stable chemical compound of the cathode material and convince with increased safety and a roughly ten times higher cycle stability (6,000 charging and discharging cycles). Bicker's high-quality BP-LFP battery packs also feature an integrated high-performance battery management system (BMS) to maximize service life.

All product benefits at a glance

  • Extremely rugged DC UPS units with IP67 protection
  • Maintenance-free long-life supercapacitors as integrated energy storage
  • High cycle stability >500,000
  • Ultra-wide input range
  • Regulated output voltage
  • Extended temperature range -20 to +70 °C
  • Fanless 24/7 continuous operation
  • USB communication interface
  • Integrated reboot function for self-sufficient systems
  • Load sensor and timer function
  • Extensive energy storage monitoring
  • Robust aluminum housing with pressure compensation element
  • Pre-assembled mounting brackets
  • Long-term availability at least 5 years
  • 3-year warranty