New supercapacitor emergency back-up system

Jon Lawson

Sudden power failure or unstable electricity supply, even just for one minute, can result in damage to expensive production machinery. As such, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) have become standard industrial equipment. In response to the need, Arbor has introduced SCP Cube - a UPS system that uses supercapacitors and does a lot more than ensuring reliable power supply. Integrated with LoRa communication technology and sensors, it serves not only as a UPS but also as an IIoT sensor node. It can further work with central gateways and cloud servers to form a total IIoT solution.

Compared to bulky battery-powered UPS that can supply electricity for hours, Arbor’s supercapacitor-based UPS - SCP Cube - provides backup power for a couple of minutes. Its main purpose is to allow the system to have enough time for a standard shutdown so as to guard against damage to hardware and software of built-in equipment.

Using supercapacitors have multiple advantages, including higher conversion efficiency and shorter charging time. Furthermore, conventional batteries are prone to failure in high or low temperature environments while supercapacitors can maintain normal operation under a wide temperature range (-20ºC to 70ºC), outperforming lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, supercapacitors can last for unlimited charge-discharge cycles in theory and are essentially maintenance-free. 

"It should be noted that we cannot overlook the risk of battery explosion especially in operating environments where there may be oil and gas. Supercapacitors pose no safety risk so they don't need to get certified for air transport," noted Lin Yang-cheng, associate manager, industry automation division, Arbor.