Super Capacitors make an ideal re-usable power sourceUntil recently, if you wanted a small amount of power, you could charge up an electrolytic capacitor - if you needed any more power, then you would have to opt for batteries. Now there is the choice of a super capacitor. These are perfect for applications where the capacity of a standard electrolytic capacitor is too small and a rechargeable battery is bigger than needed. In these two examples below, you will see that they are extremely easy to use.
Rechargeable White LED Torch
This very simple circuit shows how a super capacitor can be used to create a rechargeable torch. The super capacitor is charged when it is connected to a 5V DC power source such as a USB port, power supply or batteries. The capacitor charges within a few seconds and will power the LED for over 10 minutes.
This circuit charges the super capacitor in the same way as the torch but this time is used to power a solar motor. The motor runs for around 10 - 15 seconds. A perfect application for this is to see who can design a buggy that will travel the furthest before the capacitor is discharged.
Why use a 10ohm Resistor?The 10ohm resistor is needed to control the rate at which the capacitor charges. Without it the capacitor would charge instantly pulling a large amount of current which could damage the power source.
Buying Super CapacitorsWe stock a 1F super capacitor (shown left) that has a maximum working voltage of 5.5V. Diameter 20mm, height 6.5mm, lead pitch 5mm. Learn more about the author read more »
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