Blues makes embeddable IoT devices that connect to their Notehub with Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity. Like all electronics, these cards require power. Their latest product acts as a backup power supply for IoT devices. The Scoop is a board with a 250 Farad lithium-ion capacitor that can provide up to four hours of continuous usage.
The Scoop is a backup power supply for devices like the Notecard from Blues. It takes up 56.69 by 14.16 millimeters of horizontal space. The onboard 250 Farad capacitor makes the overall height 20 millimeters.
The capacitor that Scoop uses is called a lithium-ion capacitor (LIC). These capacitors are electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), which some manufacturers call "supercapacitors." These devices store energy electrostatically and have exceptionally high capacitance values but low working voltages. Compared to a battery of similar physical size, a EDLC's energy density is much less. However, supercapacitors have several significant advantages over batteries.
Since ELDCs store energy electrostatically, there is less loss when delivering power to a load than when compared to a battery, which chemically stores energy. Also, supercapacitors have charge-discharge cycle counts in the 100,000+ range. In contrast, a Lithium-Polymer battery might only have 100-200 cycles.
LICs are a particular type of supercapacitor. One of their electrodes is effectively a lithium battery cell. So LICs combine a capacitor's high power delivery with a battery's energy density in a single package.
When powered by Scoop, the amount of usage your application gets relies on several factors. However, Blues' testing has shown that Scoop can power a Notecard for 200 wireless connections to their Notehub and almost four hours of continuous usage.
While Blues intends the device for use with its hardware, the simple connections make it usable in other applications. Scoop requires an input voltage between 2.4 and 24 volts. The output varies from 3.8 down to 2.5 volts as the LIC discharges.
Scope is now available and costs $10, before shipping, from the Blues website.