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Super capacitors

The irregular fluctuations and hard transients would fast degrade their performance. Many solutions
based on the combination of supercapacitors and batteries have been presented in literature, so that
the hard transients are supplied or absorbed by the supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors store energy by physically separating positive and negative charges, instead
of chemically storing charge as batteries do [5]. Consequently, supercapacitors benefit from a
longer life than batteries and have fast charge and discharge times. They are able to provide a
high power over a very short period of time. Unlike batteries, after hundreds of thousands of
charge/discharge cycles, their characteristics do not degrade so much. Their operation is less
affected by temperature and their efficiciency is higher. However, they can not provide
energy over a long period of time as batteries do. To take advantage of both high power and
high energy densities, their combination has been subject of research in power supply
The main goal of using supercapacitors as a complement of batteries is to suppress hard
transient states and smooth strong and short-time power bursts of the renewable sources or
the load [14]. The battery would basically supply or absorb the average power to the load.
In all these systems, the demanding power is subtracted from the power generated by the
renewable energy generators and is filtered so that the high frequency part of the missing
energy is supplied by the supercapacitors.

The non-isolated bidirectional buck-boost converter which interfaces the batteries and

the dc bus

(represented in Fig. 8) allows to protect the battery, respecting its safe output voltages and
discharge/charge current, besides keeping the dc bus voltage constant at 100 V.

In the second case, the battery is setting the dc bus voltage without any power interface and supercapacitors are
connected to the dc bus using a non-isolated bidirectional buck-boost converter as interface. This converter is used
to control the battery current, so that the high frequency harmonic components are supplied by the supercapacitor.
This system has the advantage of requiring one converter less than the others that include supercapacitors. The other
systems have two bidirectional dc-dc converters
In the third and in the fourth systems, the dc bus is controlled by the converter interfacing the battery. The
fourth one is an improvement of the third presented in [7,11]. An adaptation of the high pass filter was applied [10],
because the filtered signal presents unwanted features, such as zero crossing when the signal being filtered increases
or decreases (even without zero crossing) and for exceeding this original signal
In the latter, the root mean square (rms) value of the battery current (Irms) and the battery state of charge stress
factors (SOCstress,REL) of all the considered systems are compared to that of system 1, which is the system without

supercapacitor. The stress factor [10] is a measure of how deep the battery is charged and discharged as a function of
frequency. It is defined by the following equation:

Power Smoothing of Large Solar PV Plant Using Hybrid Energy Storage

A hybrid energy storage system (HESS) composed of a vanadium redox battery and a supercapacitor bank
is used to smooth the fluctuating output power of the PV plant. The power management of
The HESS is purposely designed to reduce the required power rating of the SCB to only one-fifth of the
VRB rating and to avoid the operation of the VRB at low power levels, thus increasing its overall

The traditional concept of the power sharing is based on the response times of each technology:
the high-frequency power oscillations are assigned to the short-term storage device and the lowfrequency oscillations are handled by the long-term storage device.
The proposed power management (PM) of the PV power plant is a rule-based algorithm, which
consists of two stages: an incremental power sharing scheme between the VRB and SC bank
(SCB) and the rules managing the operation modes of the PV power plant. The main advantages
of the proposed PM with respect to conventional techniques are as follows: reducing the required
power rating of the SCB to only one-fifth of the VRB rating and avoiding the operation of
theVRB at low power levels, thus increasing its overall efficiency.

In order to maximise the value of the solar energy, a hybrid electricity storage consisting of
batteries and supercapacitors is used with the PV system. This paper proposes a control strategy
focusing on the DC power at the DC link rather than at the grid-connected inverter.

the complementary characteristics of batteries and supercapacitors make them an attractive

choice for a hybrid electricity storage system in which the battery is chosen as the long-term
storage device to meet the demand and the supercapacitor provides the short-term storage device
to absorb the fast, high-frequency fluctuations of the PV. Also, the supercapacitor can operate at
any state of charge, since it stores energy by physically separating positive and negative charges,
which means that it can be operated fully charged or fully discharged
for the batteries, the state of charge SOC must be controlled to maintain an appropriate level to
ensure a long cycle-life. The supercapacitor can therefore be used to protect the battery from
short duration transients and help prolong the life of the battery
Modelling super capacitors
The equivalent circuit of a basic supercapacitor in which the variable capacitance C plays the
most important role and the resistance R2 describes the self-discharge of the super capacitor. The
capacitance Cp together with the resistance Rp represents the fast dynamic changes of the super
capacitor. Cp is lower than C. The resistance R1 which is connected in series represents the
energy loss during the charging or discharging period, while the resistance R3 is added in case of
over-voltage. The variable capacitances C and Cp should be chosen and regulated by the size the
super capacitor [11].

where iSC is current through supercapacitor; CSC is overall capacitance of supercapacitor; and uSC
is terminal voltage of supercapacitor.

Due to the high power density and the low energy density, the discharging time of the
supercapacitor is very short and its response is very fast. The supercapacitor plays the role of
absorbing the high-frequency power fluctuations from the PV and maintaining the voltage of the

DC link in a proper range. The random nature of these fluctuations is a key factor of the PV
system and the instantaneous change in the output power is unpredictable. The supercapacitor
always charges or discharges in a shorter time than the battery therefore the battery is protected
from the high frequency fluctuations.
The voltage of the DC link is monitored and compared with the reference value, V_DC, resulting
in the error signal which is the input of the PI controller. The reference current of the
supercapacitor, I_SC, is usedwith themonitored supercapacitor current, Isc, to create the control
signals for the Buck/Boost DC/DC converter through the current-tracking PWM.

R.L. Spyker, R.M. Nelms, Classical Equivalent Circuit Parameters for a Double
Layer Capacitor, IEEE Tranactions in aerospace and electronic systems, vol.
36, no. 3, pp. 829-836, July 2000.
Supercapacitor Model
Fig. 9 shows the classical equivalent circuit model for the supercapacitor [15]. The model
consists of three components, the capacitance, the equivalent series resistance (ESR), and the
equivalent parallel resistance (EPR). The ESR is a loss term that models the internal heating in
the capacitor and is most important during charging and discharging. The EPR models the
current leakage effect and will impact the long term energy storage performance of the
supercapacitor and C is the capacitance. Equations (7)-(9) describe the ESR, EPR and terminal
voltage of the supercapacitor.

The function of the voltage-dependent capacitor C can be obtained with curve fitting from the
charging/discharging measurements. The model is verified with Nesscap 2.7V/600F
supercapacitor. Fig. 10 shows the 10A charging, rest and 5A discharging of the model with an
ESR of 1m and an EPR of 258

The capacitance C is responsible for the most important phenomenon in the model. It
determines how charge is handled in the circuit. The amount of energy stored and the rate of
energy level variations are both determined mainly by the capacitance value. The resistance R2
that is connected in parallel with the capacitor is meant to represent the self discharge effect. The
series resistance R1 represents the losses during charge and discharge. These losses occur
because the conducting element in the supercapacitor has a resistance, so the connection is not
ideal. The over voltage protection provided by R3 and the switch controlling its connection to the
circuit is necessary to prevent damage to the capacitor elements by balancing the voltage level.
The voltage balancing is needed because otherwise the voltage in one separate cell can increase
higher than the others resulting in gassing or explosion. This voltage difference can occur if one
cell has a lower capacitance than the others, since that results in more energy being stored. The
resistance Rp and the capacitance Cp are included in the circuit to model some of the fast
dynamics in the behaviour of the supercapacitor.

Table 3: Component values for basic model in Simulink. The capacitance value is
included because it is
used for initial tests, before the variable capacitance is implemented.

Component R1 [m_] R2 [k_] R3 [m_] Rp [m_] C [F] Cp [F]

Value 6 18 52 3 35 C/13
Main capacitance calculation