The market for ultracapacitors advances, with the technology finding several optimal uses in the transportation and industrial segments. Moreover, the growing need for environmental friendly solutions, especially in Europe and North America, results in substantial investment in this technology toward a cleaner environment. The continued and stable funding in this industry implies high expectations from ultracapacitors.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (powersupplies.frost.com), World Ultracapacitor Market, finds this market earned revenues of $99.6 million in 2007 and estimates to reach $205.9 million in 2014.
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“The future of ultracapacitors as an energy storage solution is immense,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Anu Cherian. “Currently, ultracapacitors are used in complementing batteries for more efficient energy storage.”
When used in tandem with the battery, ultracapacitors significantly enhance battery life by handling all peak power requirements of the device. Ultracapacitor technology offers some very unique selling points such as high power density, ability to operate at a wide range of temperatures and climatic conditions, quick and easy recharge, and up to a million charge-recharge cycles without affecting its efficiency.
There is, however, concern about the current high price of the ultracapacitor. The energy density of an ultracapacitor is below 1 Wh/kg in comparison with that of batteries, which provides energy densities up to 100 Wh/kg. These numbers denote that ultracapacitors cannot take on the entire role of batteries. Ultracapacitors do not provide slow and steady energy discharge similar to batteries. Hence, they are not considered a substitute for batteries. This adds cost in addition to the cost of a battery in current applications, which affects the rate of adoption of the technology by OEMs.
This situation will likely resolve only when production reaches higher economies of scale, along with increased demand for the product. Cost reduction is achieved by increase in production capacities and sourcing materials from cheaper suppliers to enable easy design and packaging.
Once demand for ultracapacitors is established and clearly defined, standards for sizes will be laid out, and the currently rigorous and time consuming task of design and incorporation into devices will be easily minimized. This will enhance revenue growth in the market.
Several unexplored opportunities exist for ultracapacitors. Their use in micro, mild, full and fuel-cell hybrids is seen as a high-volume application for the future ultracapacitor market. In the industrial market, their use can be diversified in backup power applications. Identification of niche application areas, along with early adoption into new technology, is the key to growth in this market.
Ultracapacitor manufacturers create various new configurations of products to suite a vast array of applications. This kind of diversification, they hope, will enable the market to move forward aggressively.
“Additionally, companies also manufacture modular products to suit high- end applications, and they incorporate various combinations of voltages at different capacitances giving the end user a satisfactory solution,” remarks Cherian. “It is evident that for an emerging market such as this, there is a need to quickly incorporate creativity and technology to get a head start in a niche market.”
World Ultracapacitor Market is part of the World Ultracapacitor Market Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: World Secondary Lithium-ion Battery, North American Power Quality Equipment and Services, and North American DC/AC Power Inverter. All research services subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated by extensive interviews with market participants. Press interviews are available.
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