Electrochemical Double Layered Capacitor Development and Implementation System
University of Kansas
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Electrochemical Double Layered Capacitors (EDLC's) are becoming a more popular topic of research for hybrid power systems, especially vehicles. They are known for their high power density, high cycle life, low internal resistance, and wider operating temperature compared to batteries. They are rarely used as a standalone power source; however, because of their lack of energy density compared to batteries and fuel cells. Researchers are now discovering the benefits of using them in hybrid systems. The increased complexity of a hybrid power source presents many challenges. A major drawback of this complexity is the lack of design tools to assist a designer in translating a simulation all the way to a full scale implementation. A full spectrum of tools was designed to assist designers at all stages of implementation including: single cell testing, a multi-cell management system, and a full scale vehicle data acquisition system to monitor performance. First, the full scale vehicle data acquisition is described. The system is isolated from the electric shuttle bus it was tested on to allow the system to be ported to other vehicles and applications. This was done to modularize the system to characterize a wide variety of full scale applications. Next, a single cell test system was designed that allows the designer to characterize cell specifications, as well as, test control and safety systems in a controlled environment. The goal is to ensure safety systems can be thoroughly tested to ensure robustness as the bank is scaled up. This system also includes simulation models that provide examples of using the simulation to predict the behavior of a cell and the test system to validate the results of the simulation. This information is then used by the designer to more effectively design sensor ranges for the bank. Finally, a multi-cell EDLC management system was designed to implement a bank. It incorporates 12 series EDLC cells per control module, and the modular design allows expandability in parallel and series to fit any application and number of cells required. Lastly, test procedures were run to validate the proper operation of the systems.
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