Important Precautions for Proper Handling, Storage, & Use of Hybrid Lithium Supercapacitors

(Hybrid) Lithium Capacitors, or LICs are hybrid supercapacitors which combine the high-power density of an ultracapacitor and the energy density of a lithium battery to provide high energy storage capacity. A common application for the LIC is small uninterruptable power supply. They may be used individually to provide low voltage directly to a logic circuit. Devices may also be combined in series or series parallel combinations to provide larger energy storage. With proper care, a LIC is expected to provide a decade or possibly two of useful life. Environmental factors such as elevated temperature can have a profound impact on the life of a LIC.

Personnel should be very cautious when handling a LIC, as they have unique properties. While they may look like capacitors, they are more appropriately handled as if they were lithium-ion batteries. For example, in Figure 1 we see a collection of Eaton devices, observe that each LIC is transported in a plastic carrier. Precautions such as this are essential to prevent the leads from shorting together or shorting to other capacitors. The material is also highly resistive to reduce any parasitic drain of the device to an unsafe level. The carrier or equivalent protective measure prevent damage to the LIC, injury to personnel, or the possibility of fire.

Figure 1: Picture of Eaton brand LICs. The plastic carrier is an essential safety consideration to prevent the leads from shorting out to each other and to other capacitors. Note that the short leg is associated with the negative terminal of the LIC.

Tech Tip: Like many electronic devices, the life of a LIC is approximated by the “rule of 10.” With every 10-degree Celsius increase in temperature, we reduce the life by a factor of 2.

Precautions for proper handling, storage, & use of the LIC

Failure to follow these precautions will result in LIC damage or worse. A damaged LIC may overheat, smoke, leak chemicals (chemical burns), emit an odor or toxic vapor, cause fire, explosion or show no signs at all.

Disposal precautions

  • Do not puncture the cell or expose to oxygen. Exposure to oxygen makes the cell highly unstable, combustible, and flammable along with chemical leakage.

  • Dispose of capacitors in a sealed industrial waste container in accordance with appropriate federal, state, and local regulation using proper PPE to avoid all contact and breathing vapors.

Shipping and handling precautions

  • Never allow the capacitor to short circuit. If the leads are shorted or contact other product leads, the LIC will conduct a high current resulting in immediate destruction of the device with risk of fire and injury to personnel.

  • Do not directly place a LIC in antistatic pink bags, blue bags, bubble wrap, or black antistatic foam. These conductive measures may produce a high resistance circuit that will damage the LIC by discharging it below the manufacturer’s recommended minimum. There is also a risk of fire especially if the resistive (heat generating) circuit is well insulated in larger box of components. White non-conductive foam such as shown in Figure 2 may be used, provided the capacitor leads are kept straight to prevent a short circuit.

  • The LIC must be shipped, handled, and stored with non-conductive lead dividers or leads separated in white non-conductive foam. If inserting into white foam, make sure the leads are straight or slightly splayed outward so the leads to do not touch inside foam, but also do not touch other component leads if using the same white foam (not recommended). After placing the leads in white foam, you may secure in place with clingwrap or a tightly rolled/heat-sealed bag.

  • Do not drop or subject the product to excessive shock or vibration.

  • Transportation may be an issue depending on the mode and total amount of LICs in an individual shipment. For example, Tecate Group’s TPLCTM cells with energy capacity less than 0.3Wh are not considered hazardous goods and have no transportation restrictions in either cargo or passenger aircraft. Cells and modules containing cells greater than 0.3Wh are controlled by air and ground regulations for UN3508 materials.

Figure 2: Image of a Cornell Dubilier LIC kit. Most of the capacitors are installed in plastic carriers similar to Figure 1 while others have their leads isolated in white (non-conducting) foam.

Installation precautions

  • When using metal tooling, trim, bend, or cut each lead individually to avoid shorting the leads.

  • Do not apply force to the positive or negative leads. This may damage the internal construction of the LIC.

  • Wave and reflow soldering is not recommended. Wave soldering will short the leads and reflow soldering may exceed maximum temperature. Keep product dry. During soldering, use only no-clean flux (do not water wash). Conductive cleaners or regular flux (if not cleaned) may short device or slowly drain voltage to an unsafe level. In general, hand soldering temperature should not exceed 350C and soldering time should not exceed 4 seconds, however, refer to product specific datasheet for exact soldering recommendations.

  • Extreme caution should be taken when Hybrid Capacitors are used in series or parallel connections, as these are charged cells and are extremely voltage sensitive. Each LIC must be individually charged to the same voltage level before placing in a series or parallel connection to other cells. Without equalized voltage, a high current will dissipate between the cells. This can damage the PCB, melt solder joints, cause fire or injury to the assembler.

Application / design precautions

  • Do not discharge or overcharge the product outside of the recommended voltage range.

  • Deploy use of undervoltage and overvoltage protections.

  • The use of an equalization circuit is recommended in series connected cells to maintain balanced voltages.

  • In many cases it is acceptable not to consider voltage balancing for parallel connected batteries of devices such as the LIC as long as cells are individually charged to identical voltage before connection.

  • Charge and discharge currents should be controlled within cell ratings.

  • Do not apply reverse voltage either directly or from external circuitry.

  • Do not operate or store in humid environments, in direct sunlight, next to heat generating components, or outside of the recommended temperature ranges. See the Rule of 10 in the Tech Tip.

  • The capacitor casing is an uninsulated live part of the cell and must be appropriately secured, enclosed in the product and provided appropriate spacing to prevent shorts.

  • If stored for long periods of time, test and maintain voltage above minimum voltage requirement.

  • A damaged LIC should be removed from service and properly disposed since they contain toxic and hazardous materials. Do not burn or incinerate.

  • Adequate clearance should be provided above the pressure vent to allow it to function properly in the event of a gas buildup, which may be caused by exceeding temperature rating or other factors. Below is an example of cell mounting and required clearance spacing, but refer to product specific datasheet for exact recommendations:

image


Terminology associated with the LIC

Some hybrids use these terms in their datasheet:

image

WVDC: Working Voltage DC - This is the typical voltage of the capacitor when a proper load is applied.

SVDC: Surge Voltage DC - This is the absolute MAX voltage handling of the capacitor. Exceeding this will cause damage, injury, or fire. If this happens, the cell should be removed from service and properly disposed.

Minimum: This is the absolute MINIMUM voltage handling of the capacitor. Going below this will cause damage, injury, or fire. If this happens, the cell should be removed from service and properly disposed.


DigiKey’s LIC Selection

Hybrid Lithium Capacitors
image

Hybrid Lithium Supercap Kit 338-VMF-KIT-ND
image


Related Articles & Sources

Li-ion / LiPo Battery Storage and Permanent Capacity Loss
How to calculate hybrid lithium-ion supercapacitor (LiC) requirements for my application?
Tecate Group Handling Precautions for LIC Hybrid Capacitors and Modules
LIC User Manual (tecategroup.com)

Applicable Part Numbers

2085-TPLC-3R8/10MR8X14-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/30MR8X25-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/30MR10X16-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/70MR10X25-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/25MR8X20-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/40MR10X20-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/20MR10X16-ND
283-HS1016-3R8306-R-ND
338-VMF106M3R8-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/50MR10X20-ND
338-VMF256M3R8-ND
283-HSL1020-3R8506-R-ND
283-HS1020-3R8506-R-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/220MR16X25-ND
283-HS1625-3R8227-R-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/60MR10X25-ND
283-HSL1016-3R8306-R-ND
338-VPF406M3R8-ND
283-HSL1025-3R8706-R-ND
283-HS1025-3R8706-R-ND
338-VPF506M3R8-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/150MR12X25-ND
283-HSL1225-3R8127-R-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/200MR16X25-ND
338-VPF127M3R8-ND
338-VMF227M3R8-ND
338-VMF506M3R8-ND
283-HS1225-3R8127-R-ND
3999-ZCC705S0ME11RR-ND
3999-ZCC306S0YG16RR-ND
4688-LIC0820Q3R8256-ND
4688-LIC0825Q3R8306-ND
4688-LIC1013Q3R8256-ND
3999-ZCC706S0YG25RR-ND
4688-LIC1013Q3R8306-ND
4688-LIC1313Q3R8706-ND
4688-LIC0813Q3R8206-ND
4688-LIC0820Q3R8406-ND
4688-LIC1030Q3R8107-ND
4688-LIC0613Q3R8106-ND
4688-LIC1320Q3R8127-ND
4688-LIC1030Q3R8127-ND
4688-LIB1320Q4R0227-ND
4688-LIB1030Q4R0207-ND
3999-ZCC187S0YI35RR-ND
3999-ZCC227S0YK25RR-ND
4688-LIC1335Q3R8257-ND
3999-ZCC127S0YI25RR-ND
4688-LIC1620Q3R8257-ND
4688-LIC1640Q3R8507-ND
4688-LIC1840Q3R8757-ND
3999-ZCC138S0ML60RR-ND
3999-ZFC508S0MD05L3-ND
3999-ZFC728S0MD10L3-ND
3999-ZFC109S0MD10L3-ND
3999-ZCC106S0MF16RR-ND
3999-ZCC507S0YL40RR-ND
3999-ZCC108S0YL60RR-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/100MR12X25-ND
338-VMF306M3R8-ND
338-VMF406M3R8-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/10MA2-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/120MR12X25-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/50MA2-ND
338-VMF706M3R8-ND
338-VPF227M3R8-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/450MR18X40-ND
338-VPF706M3R8-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/150MA2-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/200MA2-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/220MA2-ND
4688-LIC0813Q3R8106-ND
338-VMF127M3R8-ND
283-HSL1625-3R8227-R-ND
2085-TPLC-3R8/25MR10X16-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA106Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA206Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA306Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA406Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA506Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA127Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA187Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA227Q-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/25MA28-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/20MA2-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/30MA2-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA457Q-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/100MA2-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA857Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA806Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA107Q-ND
4688-LIC1020Q3R8806-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/30MA28-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/25MA2-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA307Q-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA387Q-ND
4688-LIB1330Q4R0357-ND
4688-LIB1620Q4R0407-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/40MA2-ND
4688-LIB1340Q4R0507-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA757Q-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/60MA2-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/70MA2-ND
2085-PBLC-3R8/120MA2-ND
535-AHCR-S04R0SA128Q-ND
4688-LIB1840Q4R0118-ND
TPLC-3R8/10MR8X14
TPLC-3R8/30MR8X25
TPLC-3R8/30MR10X16
TPLC-3R8/70MR10X25
TPLC-3R8/25MR8X20
TPLC-3R8/40MR10X20
TPLC-3R8/20MR10X16
HS1016-3R8306-R
VMF106M3R8
TPLC-3R8/50MR10X20
VMF256M3R8
HSL1020-3R8506-R
HS1020-3R8506-R
TPLC-3R8/220MR16X25
HS1625-3R8227-R
TPLC-3R8/60MR10X25
HSL1016-3R8306-R
VPF406M3R8
HSL1025-3R8706-R
HS1025-3R8706-R
VPF506M3R8
TPLC-3R8/150MR12X25
HSL1225-3R8127-R
TPLC-3R8/200MR16X25
VPF127M3R8
VMF227M3R8
VMF506M3R8
HS1225-3R8127-R
ZCC705S0ME11RR
ZCC306S0YG16RR
LIC0820Q3R8256
LIC0825Q3R8306
LIC1013Q3R8256
ZCC706S0YG25RR
LIC1013Q3R8306
LIC1313Q3R8706
LIC0813Q3R8206
LIC0820Q3R8406
LIC1030Q3R8107
LIC0613Q3R8106
LIC1320Q3R8127
LIC1030Q3R8127
LIB1320Q4R0227
LIB1030Q4R0207
ZCC187S0YI35RR
ZCC227S0YK25RR
LIC1335Q3R8257
ZCC127S0YI25RR
LIC1620Q3R8257
LIC1640Q3R8507
LIC1840Q3R8757
ZCC138S0ML60RR
ZFC508S0MD05L3
ZFC728S0MD10L3
ZFC109S0MD10L3
ZCC106S0MF16RR
ZCC507S0YL40RR
ZCC108S0YL60RR
TPLC-3R8/100MR12X25
VMF306M3R8
VMF406M3R8
PBLC-3R8/10MA2
TPLC-3R8/120MR12X25
PBLC-3R8/50MA2
VMF706M3R8
VPF227M3R8
TPLC-3R8/450MR18X40
VPF706M3R8
PBLC-3R8/150MA2
PBLC-3R8/200MA2
PBLC-3R8/220MA2
LIC0813Q3R8106
VMF127M3R8
HSL1625-3R8227-R
TPLC-3R8/25MR10X16
AHCR-S04R0SA106Q
AHCR-S04R0SA206Q
AHCR-S04R0SA306Q
AHCR-S04R0SA406Q
AHCR-S04R0SA506Q
AHCR-S04R0SA127Q
AHCR-S04R0SA187Q
AHCR-S04R0SA227Q
PBLC-3R8/25MA28
PBLC-3R8/20MA2
PBLC-3R8/30MA2
AHCR-S04R0SA457Q
PBLC-3R8/100MA2
AHCR-S04R0SA857Q
AHCR-S04R0SA806Q
AHCR-S04R0SA107Q
LIC1020Q3R8806
PBLC-3R8/30MA28
PBLC-3R8/25MA2
AHCR-S04R0SA307Q
AHCR-S04R0SA387Q
LIB1330Q4R0357
LIB1620Q4R0407
PBLC-3R8/40MA2
LIB1340Q4R0507
AHCR-S04R0SA757Q
PBLC-3R8/60MA2
PBLC-3R8/70MA2
PBLC-3R8/120MA2
AHCR-S04R0SA128Q
LIB1840Q4R0118
VMF-KIT
338-VFM-KIT-ND
338-VMF-KIT
VFM
338-VFM-KIT
VMF