July 4, 2011 AT 2:24 pm

Fun with ultracapacitors‬‏

Peter writes in…

It’s a demonstration of supercapacitors, while explaining ESR, Stored energy, and some other stuff. IT’s Educational AND has sparks flying, what’s not to like?

Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground”Adafruit’s Apps!

Maker Business — Alibaba to invest $15b in tech, set up research labs around the world

Wearables — Special servo movement

Electronics — Trigger happy oscilloscope?

Biohacking — Biohacking: Visioneer – AI Glasses to Assist the Visually Impaired

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !


  1. ha! the innuendo caught me off guard XD

    *great* explanation of battery current limitations 🙂

  2. This was an awesome video. I found it very enlightening and I was shocked to find the ultracapacitors melted through a coin!

  3. Great educational, and I found the right cap for the Li-Ion Solar Charger!!! 😉

  4. Reminds me of a couple Science Fiction stories where the weapon power packs were used as crude bombs.

    In one, as the cell was crushed, it internally shorted and blew off like a grenade.

    For live use, don’t forget to fuse these things, looks like they’d turn 10 gauge wire into a pretty effective rocket motor ignitor.

    Anyone actually manage to short one with something heavy enough to not burn away and see what kind of failure is to be expected.

  5. Did you watch the video YouTube chained from this one from electroniclessons.com where he’s running his TV off a bank of 2600 F capacitors charged to 12 V? Very interesting and impressive.

    However, it terrified me to see him waving his hands around the charged capacitors while wearing a metal ring on his finger and a metal band (watch strap?) on his wrist. I know of at least one person who lost a finger (burnt off) getting his ring across a 5 V TTL power supply for a largish 1970s computer. High current sources deserve at least as much respect as high voltage sources.

  6. I’ve worked on a project that has two 0.68F supercaps on it; they must have some sort of safety ESR built in, because their discharge rate is quite limited. (And thankfully so, as our client has shorted them in an attempt to fully discharge them!)

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.