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Compact high energy density Supercapacitors

Thought Leadership published by Anglia, under Battery technology , PR

Kyocera AVX latest PrizmaCapTM offers Best-In-Class performance David Pearson, Technical Director at Anglia looks at the latest PrizmaCapTM supercapacitor from Kyocera AVX and how it can be utilised to help developers improve performance and longevity of their battery system.

More and more consumer and professional electronics systems now rely on batteries as their primary power source, and a major preoccupation for their designers is how to eke the longest possible service life out of those batteries, to give the best possible user experience. Whilst there is enormous focus on finding the next big breakthrough battery technology or chemistry the fact is that these new breakthrough battery technologies are coming but they are all still around the corner. What can be done to maximise the performance and benefits of the battery technologies currently available? 

We have previously looked at innovative battery management systems (BMS) on these very pages and they will continue to be a key part of the system helping to squeeze every last watt hour of energy from the batteries. Another often overlooked method of improving battery performance is to couple it with a supercapacitor technology which can help reduce the strain on the battery, particularly 

What is PrizmaCap?
PrizmaCap is a superlative new series of standard and custom supercapacitors that employ a revolutionary new design in terms of form, fit, and function compared with other

supercapacitors from Kyocera AVX. Leveraging this innovation, the supercapacitors have been engineered to provide peak performance in an array of Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) optimized, battery-powered products. 


The PrizmaCap supercapacitors can be used on their own as system power backup devices, replacing batteries in some cases, or they can be used in conjunction with primary or secondary batteries. Using them in conjunction with a battery allows for extended system backup time, improved battery life, and allows provision of instantaneous power pulses in energy storage, energy and power holdup, pulse power handling, and battery assist applications.

How does PrizmaCap improve battery performance?
Essentially, the addition of a PrizmaCap helps smooth out the power demand which in turn enhances the performance and lifetime of the battery. Instantaneous power pulses, such as those typically seen in wireless communication systems during transmit cycles, or peak power assist requirements, such as those in motor drives, put a lot of current strain on the battery during these discharge events. Repetitive or prolonged exposure to power pulses and peak power assists leads to increased battery heating, shorter run times and will ultimately impact the effective life of the battery by reducing its number of overall charge/discharge cycles. Placing a supercapacitor in parallel with the battery effectively buffers it from the harmful effects of these repetitive power pulses, thus supplementing the performance and lifetime of the battery. 

The PrizmaCap has an inherent low ESR which allows it to deliver large peak currents, up to 8.63A on the 15F model, and they are capable of fast charge/discharge cycles. Furthermore, their number of charge/discharge cycles far exceeds that of battery technology with more than 500K cycles achievable under specified conditions. 

These attributes make it possible for designers to increase the lifetime of the battery in a system, achieve longer run times and reduce servicing costs throughout the life cycle of the end product. Alternatively, it is also possible to specify smaller capacity batteries when using them in conjunction with supercapacitors, because any peak current demands are supplemented by the supercapacitor allowing a battery with a lower maximum discharge pulse current to be used.

Technical Description of PrizmaCap
The SCP Series PrizmaCap is initially offered in three standard capacitances with more planned in the coming months. The three initial capacitances offered are 3.5F, 8.5F and 15F with a rated voltage of 2.1V (derating to 1.1V for +90°C operation) and energy densities 1.14, 1.87 and 2.43Wh/kg respectively. They are also rated for maximum DCL as low as 50μA after 72 hours of operation, maximum ESR as low as 30mΩ at 1kHz and 55mΩ at DC, and up to 2,582W/kg power density and 0.0092Wh maximum energy. PrizmaCap offers the highest capacitance and energy densities currently available in the market for any small form factor (SFF) prismatic supercapacitors rated at more than 1F.

Additional off-the-shelf solutions with standard footprints and capacitance values are planned and will be released as they are qualified. Custom SCP Series PrizmaCap supercapacitors are possible with customer-specified footprints and capacitance values spanning 1–500F.

The wide applicability of PrizmaCap
PrizmaCap supercapacitors are suitable for a wide range of application uses including but not limited to wearables, handheld devices, high temp industrial equipment, Bluetooth keyboards, battery assist for power tools and communication devices, medical devices, power peripherals, Tablet/E-Reader, Military and high reliability equipment and space constrained designs.

They feature a wide operating temperature range specified from -55°C to +90°C with appropriate derating, this is the widest available from any supercapacitor currently available on the market and allows PrizmaCap to be used in applications which were previously off limits to this technology.

The PrizmaCap supercapacitors are based on a propylene carbonate electrolyte technology which has been proven safe and effective in energy storage applications including lithium-ion batteries, this technology also allows the products to be extremely lightweight (<2g) and the prismatic form factor allows for a very low-profile from 0.8 to 2mm.

Measuring just 48 x 45mm with maximum thickness of 2mm, the compact size of the PrizmaCap makes them especially well-suited for use in energy harvesting, wearable & handheld devices, energy metering, industrial equipment, consumer devices and any other application using high density PCB’s. The supercapacitors have two fixed-position, surface-mount terminals which are compatible with hand soldering, or for more reliable and production friendly connections they can be terminated using Kyocera AVX Interconnect’s economical and ultralow-profile 70-9159 Series STRIPT™ two-piece, single contacts.

The SCP Series PrizmaCap supercapacitors are RoHS- and REACH-compliant, lead-free compatible, and currently made in the USA. To ensure optimal performance and quality, Kyocera AVX have qualified the supercapacitors for life cycle, high-temperature load life, temperature characteristics, vibration resistance, and humidity characteristics.

Key advantages of PrizmaCap
The Kyocera AVX PrizmaCap range offer designers several key advantages in standalone and battery coupled applications.

  • Extend primary/secondary battery lifetime, more than 2X possible when properly      specified supercapacitor used
  • Superior cycle life vs. batteries with faster charge/discharge cycles
  • Large energy storage ability, ideal for backup and energy harvesting applications
  • Wide temperature range capability
  • Reduced battery maintenance and service costs over life of end product
  • Customised options possible

Design Support
Anglia offer comprehensive support for customer designs on the full range of Kyocera

AVX products, with free evaluation kits and samples of products via the EZYsample
service which is available to all registered Anglia Live account customers.

In addition, Anglia’s engineering team have extensive experience of working with a wide range of power and battery management system applications and can provide valuable product demonstrations, insight, advice, and component recommendations for your application. Anglia are available to support customers with all aspects of their designs, offering hands on hardware and software design support along with access to an extensive resource of technical application notes and support from Kyocera AVX experts when required.


or scan the QR code to see the full range of Kyocera AVX products available from Anglia.

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