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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ultracapacitors used in Japaneses ports to achieve 40% fuel saving

Energy storage technology is a key element in harvesting the kinetic energy that is wasted whenever vehicles or large machinery must be slowed or stopped. Although batteries have been successfully used in light-duty vehicles, hybrid systems in trucks and buses require storage and delivery of much higher currents than can be handled easily by a battery. Unlike batteries, electrochemical capacitors or super/ultracapacitors can operate at high charge and discharge rates over an almost unlimited number of cycles and enable energy recovery in heavier duty systems.

The worlds largest manufacture of aluminium electrolytic capacitors, NIPPON CHEMI-CON, who have been developing ultracapacitors since 1995, have installed their DLCAP energy storage modules on seaport gantry cranes in Japan. Energy that would normally be wasted as heat by a braking resistor when lowering a shipping container can now be stored and re-used to assist the lifting of the next container. Reported energy savings from using the DLCAP energy storage system are 40% over a conventional system. Similar levels of savings have been achieved with other industrial equipment having repetitive back and forth or up and down motion.

A hybrid energy system, which consists of a diesel-engine generator and a ultracapacitor, allows a large engine generator to be replaced by the much smaller one, because the ultracapacitor reduces high power demands.

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