According to a new report from Innovative Research and Products (iRAP) titled “Ultracapacitors – A Global Industry and Market Analysis (ETP-101),” the ultracapacitors market will see continued growth during 2006 to 2011. The $272 million (in US$) worldwide ultracapacitor business in 2006 will continue to grow at an AAGR of 15.3% through 2011 to reach $560 million.
Although ultracapacitors (also known as supercapacitors or electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC)) have been around since the 1960s, they are relatively expensive and only recently have begun to be manufactured in sufficient quantities to become cost-competitive. Today one can find ultracapacitors in a range of electronic devices, from computers to cars.
An ultracapacitor stores more power than a battery and more energy than a capacitor. For this reason, it brings significant benefits in both “peak-assist” and “power-assist” applications. Traditional symmetric supercapacitors with two identical electrodes work by storing energy electrostatically, by polarizing an electrolyte solution at the electrode surface.
Most advanced ultracapacitors today use two carbon electrodes with an organic electrolyte. This creates a problem for designers, since the energy that carbon-carbon electrodes are able to store effectively is limited, and the electrolyte is both expensive and potentially hazardous. The next generation of supercapacitors (asymmetric or hybrid supercapacitors) substitutes one of the carbon electrodes for a “redox” electrode similar to those used in batteries. The use of a battery-like electrode in combination with a carbon electrode increases the energy density considerably; though the power density decreases.
This study focuses on key ultracapacitor products and provides data about the size and growth of the ultracapacitors markets, company profiles and industry trends. Markets are estimated for North America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Korea and the rest of the world (ROW).
The report provides a thorough coverage of underlying economic issues driving the ultracapacitors business, as well as assessments of new, advanced ultracapacitors that companies are developing. Also covered are legislative pressures for more safety and environmental protection, as well as users’ expectations for economical ultracapacitors.
The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market development in ultracapacitors, which in turn, contributes to a determination of what kind of strategic response companies may adopt in order to compete in these dynamic markets.
In 2005, the global ultracapacitors market was estimated at US $238 million. This market is expected to grow to over US $272 million by 2006 and over US $560 million by 2011.
There are three major markets where ultracapacitors are needed, each having its own specific requirements. These are automotive, consumer electronics and industrial power management.
The automotive market wants to use ultracapacitors as load-leveling devices with batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles. By far the highest-value target for ultracapacitor technology is the global automobile industry.
The consumer electronics market needs small high-frequency devices in order to reduce battery size.
The industrial power market needs ultracapacitors for power quality, using ultracapacitors to handle power surges and short-term power loss.
GLOBAL MARKET FOR ULTRACAPACITORS, BY APPLICATION THROUGH 2011 (US $ million)