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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An approach to improving battery life time in a PV application using high energy density double layer capacitors Majaess, David

Abstract

An application to monitor Steller sea lions using a sub dermal sensor requires a power supply to provide energy for wildlife monitoring base stations. The base stations are positioned near the habitats of the North Pacific Steller sea lions in isolated coastal areas of North British Columbia and South Alaska. The locations expose the base station to high winds, storms, ice, snow, debris, impacts from ocean waves, salt corrosion, and wide temperature swings. Furthermore, due to the remote distance, there is limited infrastructure; connection to the electrical grid is impossible and installation/maintenance is costly. The project requires a ruggedized, autonomous power supply requiring minimum maintenance and a long operating life. Therefore, the thesis proposes a unique power supply design incorporating high energy density double layer capacitors (ultracapacitors) that extends serviceability and improves immunity to cold climates. Finally, the researchers working on the Steller sea lion project have a limited economic budget and require a low cost system that is simple to transport and easy to install. The purpose of this research is to extend the battery's service life and improve the base station's immunity to cold climates. In this thesis, two methods are used to accomplish the objective. The first undertaking is to extensively research, design and implement high efficient components to minimize battery demand. As a result, the input source, its electronics and the load are well matched for the application. The next task is to incorporate a battery/capacitor bank to store energy. By integrating ultracapacitor technology to create a hybrid energy storage system, the battery cycling is minimized.

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