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supercapacitor jump starter #4611679
12/22/17 10:01 PM
12/22/17 10:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,980
CA
spackard Offline OP
spackard  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,980
CA
I first heard about these a few weeks ago. Since, I've been looking into the pros and cons.
The principle is a vendor chains together 6 2.7V multi-hundred farad supercapacitors, a DC-DC boost circuit, and some battery cables, to make a jump starter pack.
The supercapacitors have very low internal resistance so they can discharge at very high current, enough to easily turn a starter motor.
The more cleaver thing is if you have a "dead" battery you use some of what is still in the dead battery to charge the supercapacitors. Seems they'll charge up at a 10A rate for a couple of minutes, get up to about 15V, then you switch from charge to jump mode and start the car.

A simple one, claiming 300A: ($99 refurbished)

A more advanced one, claiming 700A, having a meter that tells you the internal impedance of your car battery (which should be of interest to JHZR2): ($120 new)

A variation of this style, having an internal Li-Ion battery, for the case where the car battery is really dead as a doornail, the capacitors can charge from the internal battery: ($157.29 new)

Schumacher markets a DSR-108 and a DSR-109, still within the consumer budget.

Here's an OzCharge, 500A, on Amazon, for $245.99

Then, for heavy/fleet use, Chicago Pneumatic markets two models, starting at $1500 (guess)

Once you know about these you can search for videos of people using them.

Seems the pros are:
- Not carrying around Li-Ion batteries in the trunk (no vent with flame issues)
- A better idea, for the frequent user. Very high discharge rates are hard on Li-Ion batteries.

Seems the cons are:
- Higher cost
- I see shelf life of capacitors are 10 years, so I don't know how long the jump pack will really last.
- Linear voltage discharge of caps vs. flat voltage discharge of Li-Ion batteries mean you have to buy bigger capacitors, so enough voltage will be there to continue to turn over engine.
- If you only need a few jumps in 5 years, the Li-Ion jump packs are probably good enough, as long as you don't cheap-out too much
- Heavier and much lower energy density than Li-Ion batteries.

An unknown is you're supposed to balance-charge the capacitors, same as Li-Ion batteries, when they're hooked in series. Maybe that doesn't matter much to a very occasional-use jump pack. It seems to matter to a frequent-use supercapacitor bank that's used for other things, like for a stop-start circuit, or regenerative braking.

Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: spackard] #4611719
12/22/17 11:14 PM
12/22/17 11:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,950
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
JimPghPA Offline
JimPghPA  Offline

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,950
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I wonder what the freezing temperature is for the super-capacitors. In other words how cold is too cold for this type of jump-starter.


Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: spackard] #4611728
12/22/17 11:26 PM
12/22/17 11:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,980
CA
spackard Offline OP
spackard  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,980
CA
The units claim low temp is what they are good at. -40(C or F, they're the same) is the low working range.
I've looked at some data sheets and the caps are better at low temps than Li-Ion batteries.

Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: spackard] #4611901
12/23/17 08:29 AM
12/23/17 08:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,841
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
Global Moderator
JHZR2  Offline
Global Moderator

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,841
New Jersey
Shelf life is voltage dependent. Keep it below may and life may go up. Keep it nearly discharged and it could be a very long time.

I do prefer this to the liability of a fly by night Li-ion battery kept in a hot car for years. But the total energy and discharge character may be an issue.

Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: spackard] #4611967
12/23/17 10:04 AM
12/23/17 10:04 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 128
WV
jonnied1 Offline
jonnied1  Offline

Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 128
WV
This is the wave of the future!

Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: spackard] #4611978
12/23/17 10:14 AM
12/23/17 10:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 623
E. Tennessee
WhizkidTN Offline
WhizkidTN  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 623
E. Tennessee
As a EE, I'm HIGHLY skeptical of all claims of the little "jump starters" whose real effectiveness is related to the car battery's actual condition. Starting a car takes hundreds of amperes. A badly discharged battery or a completely dead battery I just don't believe will allow a car to start with one of these toys hooked up to it. BUT, I've not spend much time looking into them so YMMV.

Another reason I have AAA for the me and the wife!


His: '12 Kia Optima SX - 2.0L GDI Twin-Scroll Turbo [Tuned] (80K)
>EDGE 0W-40, Fram XG9688
Her's: '14 Nissan Rogue SL AWD - 2.5L NA (81K)
>EDGE 0W-20, Fram XG6607
Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: spackard] #4811082
07/11/18 09:12 AM
07/11/18 09:12 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,980
CA
spackard Offline OP
spackard  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,980
CA
If you wanted to get one of these, the RFD1000 is $129.99 at EBay (item 192418293661), then today only is 15% off code PRIMOSALE.
Makes it $110.

Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: WhizkidTN] #4814861
07/15/18 03:03 PM
07/15/18 03:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,284
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,284
Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: WhizkidTN
As a EE, I'm HIGHLY skeptical of all claims of the little "jump starters" whose real effectiveness is related to the car battery's actual condition. Starting a car takes hundreds of amperes. A badly discharged battery or a completely dead battery I just don't believe will allow a car to start with one of these toys hooked up to it. BUT, I've not spend much time looking into them so YMMV.

Another reason I have AAA for the me and the wife!


I use the Lithium battery "jump starters" with regularity. Working at the airport, it's common for pilots to leave the master switch on and completely drain a battery AND/OR to leave a dome light on in a car. These little units provide impressive starting current, and will start a very, very dead vehicle. They will even start a vehicle that has no battery installed.

I understand your skepticism. Be aware these things are designed and engineered to provide the necessary current.

A good friend has a difficult to start, high compression, Lycoming AEIO 540 powered stunt plane. He uses a Ballistic lithium battery, as the main battery, it weighs just 3.3 pounds. It cranks that engine over like magic.

Last edited by Cujet; 07/15/18 03:04 PM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: WhizkidTN] #4816923
07/17/18 11:45 PM
07/17/18 11:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,408
CA
raytseng Offline
raytseng  Offline

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,408
CA
Originally Posted By: WhizkidTN
As a EE, I'm HIGHLY skeptical of all claims of the little "jump starters" whose real effectiveness is related to the car battery's actual condition. Starting a car takes hundreds of amperes. A badly discharged battery or a completely dead battery I just don't believe will allow a car to start with one of these toys hooked up to it. BUT, I've not spend much time looking into them so YMMV.

Another reason I have AAA for the me and the wife!

come on man. you are being a terrible engineer if the thing you're skeptical about is so easily testable and demonstrable. So I dont know why you threw that tidbit in there.

The very basic premise of being a scientist or engineer is having an open mind and that one puts thing to the test rather than deciding based on your gut.
I refer you back to elementary school scientific method.

fyi (i am a fellow ee)

Last edited by raytseng; 07/17/18 11:47 PM.
Re: supercapacitor jump starter [Re: Cujet] #4816954
07/18/18 03:15 AM
07/18/18 03:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,004
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,004
'Stralia
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Originally Posted By: WhizkidTN
As a EE, I'm HIGHLY skeptical of all claims of the little "jump starters" whose real effectiveness is related to the car battery's actual condition. Starting a car takes hundreds of amperes. A badly discharged battery or a completely dead battery I just don't believe will allow a car to start with one of these toys hooked up to it. BUT, I've not spend much time looking into them so YMMV.

Another reason I have AAA for the me and the wife!


I use the Lithium battery "jump starters" with regularity. Working at the airport, it's common for pilots to leave the master switch on and completely drain a battery AND/OR to leave a dome light on in a car. These little units provide impressive starting current, and will start a very, very dead vehicle. They will even start a vehicle that has no battery installed.


Yes, I was sceptical also...Until I bought one.

It has got the job done multiple times where the cars (including a 3L turbodiesel) wouldn't even crank...the L67 Caprice twice when totally dead wouldn't light a blinker.

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