Supercapacitor Leakage in Energy-Harvesting Sensor Nodes: Fact or Fiction?

Provided by: University of Southampton
Topic: Mobility
Format: PDF
As interest in energy-harvesting sensor nodes continues to grow, the use of super-capacitors as energy stores or buffers is gaining popularity. The reasons for their use are numerous, and include their high power density, simple interfacing requirements, simpler measurement of state-of-charge, and a greater number of charging cycles than secondary batteries. However, super-capacitor energy densities are orders of magnitude lower. Furthermore, they have been reported to exhibit significant leakage, and this has been shown to increase exponentially with terminal voltage (and hence stored energy). This observation has resulted in a number of algorithms, designs and methods being proposed for effective operation of super-capacitor-based energy-harvesting sensor nodes.

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