Stored energy is the decisive factor for almost all missions in transportation systems. Additionally, the energy devices must be powerful, and lightweight at the same time for efficient performance of the overall transportation system. Due to the advancing electrification, there is a huge demand for devices to store electrical energy. Aside from batteries, which receive a great deal of scientific attention, supercapacitors are a very promising technology. This system features several advantages such as short charging time, high energy density and cycle stability. Especially the latter advantage enables a further lightweight approach by integrating supercapacitors as a thin film into composite structures. Due to their cycle stability, supercapacitors are the ideal energy device for integration into hardly accessible positions such as mechanically loadable structures.
This publication deals with the strategy of structurally compliant integration of pouch supercapacitor cells (structural power composites). The aim is to operate a peak power application needed for space positioning. However, there are several properties which have to be optimized during the development of structural power composites to achieve the best possible electromechanical performance. Furthermore, there are effects which have a positive influence on the specific performance by scaling up from laboratory scale to a full-size demonstrator. In this case, integration of energy storage devices into structures offers a volume and weight reduction of up to 80% compared to a structure with commercial supercapacitors.