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Old 3rd November 2017, 11:50 PM   #1
mchambin is offline mchambin  France
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Default Super caps Ultra caps

Why super caps are not massively used as reservoir caps in linear power supplies ?
Are they examples of PSUs using them ?
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Old 3rd November 2017, 11:57 PM   #2
abraxalito is online now abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Too much capacitance, too low working voltages, too high ESRs.

There are PSUs using them - Vinnie Rossi has one or more : LIO Technology for the Audiophile :
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Old 4th November 2017, 05:32 AM   #3
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Supercaps are optimum for long storage; minutes to months.

Wall-power, we get a jolt 100/120 times a second, no long storage needed. Plain old electrolytics are still good for this.

Classic Supercaps were 5V max and you could not get the energy out in a hurry (high ESR). These limits are changing and I may be behind the curve here.
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Old 4th November 2017, 05:49 AM   #4
abraxalito is online now abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Nowadays ESR by itself isn't such a problem, some are well below 1mohm but you do need to buy an awful LOT of Farads (thousands) to get there. For example - http://www.maxwell.com/images/docume...01423_EN_1.pdf
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:58 AM   #5
mchambin is offline mchambin  France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Nowadays ESR by itself isn't such a problem, some are well below 1mohm but you do need to buy an awful LOT of Farads (thousands) to get there. For example - http://www.maxwell.com/images/docume...01423_EN_1.pdf
3 Volt, 3000 Farad, ESR=0.00027 Ohm, about $50.
I think this 3V cap is made of a basic cell.
Higher voltages are made with several cells serial connected.
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Old 4th November 2017, 12:36 PM   #6
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Yes - I recall that in Vinnie Rossi's power supply he's using 6 or 8 in series. Which raises the ESR significantly but his caps are much smaller than the link I cited. Charge balancing is an inconvenience in series-connected supercaps.
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Old 4th November 2017, 03:31 PM   #7
mchambin is offline mchambin  France
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Good you mentionned charge balancing.
I know this about lead acid cells with car and RV batteries. That can be a serious issue.
This is better taken care by manufacturing rather than DIYing.
I wonder wether there are super caps at 15v and 48v, I am thinking about a portable supply for a microphone preamp where I need +15V -15V op amp supply and +48V phantom voltage.
Fast charging thanks to super caps would be a nice feature.
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Last edited by mchambin; 4th November 2017 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:29 PM   #8
DF96 is online now DF96  England
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Which particular audio electronics design problem is solved by huge capacitors? What new problems would such caps introduce into PSU design?
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:53 PM   #9
martin clark is offline martin clark  Europe
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New problems for the one example manufacturer quoted above in-thread - apparently several ..!
Here you go: selling point is the 'Supercap' supply, yet utterly massive sidebands of mains noise in every measurement:
Vinnie Rossi LIO modular integrated amplifier Measurements | Stereophile.com

- it seems to me there must be some massive/primitive common-impedance errors in the basic layout.

tl;dr: It doesn't matter how 'good' your psu scheme is, if the rest of the design and pcb/psu layout is incompetent. A basic, but well-considered jellybean 3-pin reg based supply can do 30-40dB better everywhere than this example.

Last edited by martin clark; 4th November 2017 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 6th November 2017, 12:04 AM   #10
mchambin is offline mchambin  France
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: LIO Technology for the Audiophile : mentionned in post #2
Is this dual super cap bank power supply an interesting technique ?

I wonder how is done the bank switch over ? How can one make a clean output at switch-over ?

The idea of isolating mains 50Hz/60Hz power with some sort of double buffering seems good, but is it actually effective ?

In a usual power supply there is a short time charging the reservoir caps ( when the rectifier diodes provide charging ) then the load is isolated from mains power ( the rectifier diodes are off ) while the caps discharge in the load; Until the next charging.
The issue is the charging phase which is dirty with high current and ringing.
One can imagine an auxiliary reservoir that is isolated from the load when recharged. Then this auxilliary reservoir would be disconnected from the dirty charger and connected to smoothly recharge the main reservoir.
This dual reservoir technique could be implemented with two banks of super caps or with two banks of electroctrolytics, as well.

I wonder if such a dual bank technique to isolate the load from the 50Hz/60Hz mains, has been tried.

I wonder wether the LIO dual super cap technique is not just a commercial gimmick.
Is there really something new ?
New about dual banks, new about super caps versus electrolytics?
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Last edited by mchambin; 6th November 2017 at 12:10 AM.
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