Dynacap Double Layer Capacitors.

sflate

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I too was looking for some solar modules for a project I'm working on and found the following links. Not sure if they are useful for you guys or not, but thought I'd share them:
2 AA Mini Solar Charger

Flexible Solar Modules

And just for fun:
Solar Radio

I am going to try to take the FM transmitter from CCrane when it comes out and rebroadcast from my PC (streaming radio or MP3s) and listen in on the Solar Headset while outside. I really want a digital tuning one and my build it myself with a flexible solar module.
CCrane FM Transmitter

Sorry guys if I'm off topic, but I thought the solar module links may help you out.
 

X-CalBR8

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Thanks for the info Mike. I didn't realize that the price included shipping. That probably is the best deal available then.
 

X-CalBR8

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Sflate: Thanks for the info on the flexible solar panel. That gave me a terrific idea. I was originally thinking of using a traditional flat solar panel, but with these flexible ones, it would allow a light such as a 3D Maglight to be converted to solar power. You could flex the solar panel all the way around it so that no matter which way you lay the light down, it would always have a solar panel facing the light. Plus the super caps are about the size of a C or D battery also so they should fit in a Maglight perfectly. That mod might be fun to try someday. Also, I just thought I would mention that All Electronics has those same 3 Volt 40ma flat solar panels for sale that are used in that battery charger that you mentioned for $3.50 each.
 

X-CalBR8

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KenBar: Thanks for the info. It looks like a great deal for only $15.00. I was surprised to find out that there was no brand name stamped on it. I wonder if Ccrane makes their own or something. With the stats that you listed, I bet you could charge several super caps in just an hour or 2 with that solar panel. I have to say that I'm impressed.
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Hey, I just had another idea. I wonder if it would work well to just mod the entire charger into an emergency flashlight. Just put on a handle, a switch and then epoxy a flashlight head on it and there you have it. When I get one in, I will have to check it out and see what I think then. Thanks again for the info.
 

X-CalBR8

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Here is a cool table that I found that might help out some people, like me, that forgot some of the different Farad abbreviations. Hopefully this will help everyone with finding high capacitance super caps because almost every seller uses different abbreviations for Farads.

F = 1 Farad
mF = millifarad = 0.001 Farad
uF = microfarad = 0.000001 Farad
nF = nanofarad = 0.000000001 Farad
pF = picofarad = 0.000000000001 Farad

Now to continue my quest to find the better Super Capacitor.
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**DONOTDELETE**

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I have thick skin... ( Ted
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KenBar

---whad I say? whad I say?
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This project is just so interesting, I can only whine about how I wish I had my workspace and all my tools, and my computer all in one place so I could tinker along with you guys! (Seriously ken.) The Russian (or the Aladin for power?) with LEDs and with these new caps, AND the option of plugging in that solar panel, -I know it's been said before-, but I always dreamed about a flashlight something like this...now if you make it also instantly chargeable by sticking in the house mains...sheesh! Obviously Ken, the light will be worth more than $40...I ordered the Aladin charger for $20. (!) from igo.com --(great tip, Free, thanks!!!) -- my dream for it is to drill holes in all my flashlights and install plugs so I can charge them with the Aladin, or the solar panel...come to think of it, how about an output plug for the Russian light for charging other batteries? --come to think of it, you could use one socket for both in and output...
 

Steelwolf

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Sorry folks. my bad.
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I had some assignments vying for my time and didn't check back. Haven't read all the other posts yet, but I did post a horrible error in the calculations.

I think someone has already pointed out, the correct equation is:
1/C = 1/C1 + 1/C2 +...+ 1/Cn

And yes, the capcitance is disappointing. But how about this: Buy the Brinkman light, or make the circuit that comes with it, or use the SatCure 1 coil 1 transistor circuit and put all the capacitors in parallel. You can run a LED quite well off such circuits and a 2.5V input.
 

X-CalBR8

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Steelwolf: That's what I was considering doing, but before I gave up and built a flashlight at 2.5 Volts, I thought I would try for a few more days to find some of the super caps made by another company that claim to be rated at 6.3 volts. I figure the 6.3-volt caps would be much more useful to this project and any other project that I might want to use them on. Now if only I could find some of them for sale somewhere…
 

X-CalBR8

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Here is a link to the home page of the PC1000 ULTRACAPACITOR made by Power Cache. This capacitor is rated for 2.5-Volts at 1200Farads! This would be a nice candidate for for a LED flashlight with a voltage step-up circuit, but so far all I've found out about it is that it is supposed to sell for between $50.00-$100.00.

Power Cache also sells a model called PC2500 ULTRACAPACITOR that is rated for 2.5-Volts at 2700Farads, but I haven't found anything on what it's price is supposed to be yet. A cap this size could run a single LED for about 19 hours at 40ma before dropping a Volt. Of course, with that much juice to play around with, I would like to go with a duel LED bulb at half the run-time. After all, it would only need to last through the night then it would be recharged fully the next day via the solar panels. I'm just not sure what is the best way to step-up the voltage to the point that it needs to be when using a 2.5-Volt supercap. I'll post again when I learn anything new that might be of use.
 

X-CalBR8

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Here is kind of a neat site describing all the different types of capacitors and their various uses. There is a brief mention of super capacitors but not a lot of info on them. The search continues for some higher voltage super caps.
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Steelwolf

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Kenbar: What do you mean that the capacitor kills the light when you put it across the terminals? Have you got the light running off a battery, then put the capacitor across the terminals of the LED?

BTW, quick checks (standard for electrical problems):
1. Contacts. sound electrical contact.
2. Polarity of components. Is current flowing the way it should?
3. Are the individual components working?
 

X-CalBR8

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I found out some new info on the PowerCache super caps and thought you guys might like to know. The PC1000 ULTRACAPACITOR sells for $100.00 and the PC2500 ULTRACAPACITOR sells for a whopping $300.00! in quantities of 1-10. Sadly, the only way to obtain these caps at the present is directly from the company, which means that you can't go shopping for a better price, somewhere else. They can be reached toll free at 877-511-4324. Again the URL is http://www.powercache.com

The PC1000 is rated at 2.5volts and 1200Farads and the PC2500 is rated at 2.5volts and 2700Farads. I guess you can see from these numbers that it is much more cost effective in $$'s per Farad to get the PC1000. If I can find a good enough, efficient, circuit to crank that 2.5volts up to the required 3.6-4volts, and that will work to the point of sucking that super cap down to well under a volt, then this will still be a very worthwhile cap for a solar flashlight project. If only I could build a circuit that would work from like .5 volts(or less)-2.5 volts at full overdriven, photon level, brightness, I would have it made. Such a flashlight would probably run for about 6 hours at full brightness (assuming an average of about 100ma current draw) and would burn at a lower brightness for the rest of the night. Just so long as it last through the night it would be just fine because it would then be recharged to full capacity every day by solar power. Of course, the biggest downside to this would be that any flashlight built around a $100.00 super cap would probably cost close to $120-150 total to build, which would keep it out of the hands of most people. Of course, the HUGE upside of all of this is that you would have a flashlight that would have the potential to last a lifetime and would never need batteries -ever-.

For me, personally, the trade-off is worth the ridiculously high cost of such a flashlight and I still intend to at least build a prototype, for myself, if nothing more. I will try for a little while yet to find a cheaper super cap of 1000 Farads or greater, but so far, I've had no luck. I will keep you all informed of my progress and if anyone else finds a suitable super cap before me then please post any and all info about it.
 
D

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by php_44:
I figured a 60F 3V unit with a boost convertor capable of running down to 0.8V or so could power a bank of LEDs or one LS LED at around 200mA for around 8 minutes<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

An LS drawing 200mA has a forward voltage around 2.5 volts, and thus dissipates 0.5 watt of power.

The energy released by the capacitor as it falls from 3 volts to 0.8 volt is 0.5*C*V*V = 0.5*60*2.2*2.2 = 145 joules.

145 joules can power 145 watts for one second, or 0.5 watt for 290 seconds---just under five minutes.
 

php_44

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I thought I'd pass this on.....

This company produces 60-3500 Farad caps (no not microfarad). ultracaps They claim to be ready to produce units that can tolerate 3 volts. I figured a 60F 3V unit with a boost convertor capable of running down to 0.8V or so could power a bank of LEDs or one LS LED at around 200mA for around 8 minutes -or- One LED at 20mA for 80 minutes. For the 3500F cap, the you'd get roughly 8 hours -or- 80 hours respectively for the same cases. This neglects self discharge of the Cap and assumes a 100% efficient boost convertor.

Now, I'll get real interested when the 3500F unit gets a 4-6V rating, shrinks to AA cell size and costs $10 or less. Hey, it could happen, right?
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php_44

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Duggg:
An LS drawing 200mA .... for 290 seconds---just under five minutes.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are right! I based my estimate on a quick look at the mfg's discharge plots which yielded a rougher estimate than I might have thought. Thanks for the correction.

Sooo to take it farther - the 3500F unit from 3.0 to 0.8V would be 8470J, which would power an LS at 0.5W for 4.7 hours.

If the same Ultracap were available at a 6V max voltage (the typical max voltage for many CMOS switchers) and you designed a SEPIC switcher (capable of producing a given output voltage from an input voltage above or below that voltage) then you'd get: 47320J (!), for 26+ hours of use with an LS(!!). The neat thing is that you'd easily be able to monitor remaining usage time by the cap's voltage. This is not nearly as easy to do with an NiMH or NiCad cell.

Still hoping for a high Farad, high voltage, small, inexpensive cap.
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Harrkev

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Any word on how these things behave if treated badly???

An ordinary electrolytic can explode if reverse-biased or driven with tooo much voltage.

Would a super-cap make a super-explosion???
 

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