Nichicon’s Capacitors for Cars Pick up Steam

he industry has been witnessing the increase of automotive onboard electronics being installed closely to the engine compartment, requiring aluminum electrolytic capacitors to be extremely heat resistant. At the same time, demand has grown also for capacitors to have high voltage ratings, which is also suitable for automotive applications.

Demand has been increasing in the automotive onboard electronics industry for chip-type capacitors used in engine electronic control units (ECUs) as well as in peripheral drive system ECUs for more comfortable vehicle interior environments. These products need to have longer life cycle, capable of operating in severe environments, and must withstand both high and low temperatures with low ESR.

Meanwhile, demand for smaller chip-type capacitors is growing as manufacturers are making more densely packed boards on set devices for electronic equipment and consumer appliances. Capacitors for use in digital equipment need to be low in noise and impedance. In addition to denser mounting, the miniaturization of set devices and their increasingly high performance means capacitors must be made smaller, with higher capacitance and lower impedance.

UBC Series
Photo 1: UBC Series
Recognizing the need to complement these needs, Nichicon Corporation has recently developed aluminum electrolytic capacitors with an operating temperature of up to 150˚C and rated life of 2,000 hours to handle extreme environments. Furthermore, the company has also expanded the voltage ratings of its UCM Series of chip-type aluminum electrolytic capacitors and also the ratings of its UCH Series chip-type aluminum electrolytic capacitors.

Increase in Rated Life, Operating Temperature
Nichicon’s latest aluminum electrolytic capacitor has an operating temperature of 150˚C with a rated life of 2,000 hours at lower ESR. This new product comes as an improvement to the company’s previously introduced UBC Series, which has a guaranteed operation of 1,000 hours at 150˚C operating temperature.

The new product is expected to contribute to higher performance and longer life in a variety of applications in extremely high-temperature environments, which Nichicon’s current lineup is unable to withstand.

In addition to improvements in materials and the manufacturing process, the new products achieve a rated operating temperature of 150°C and low ESR by using a low evaporation, low-resistance electrolyte. The products have the longest rated life of 2,000 hours for capacitors sized φ8 and φ10 along with guaranteed low ESR at low temperature.

UCH Series
Photo 2: UCH Series
Using 150°C, 2,000-hour rated aluminum electrolytic capacitors can contribute to miniaturization and reduce production costs because they offer up to 1.5 times the capacitance of the existing 150°C-rated UBC Series.

Nichicon said the new product, sampling of which will be available from April 2020, will have mass production starting October 2020 at a volume of about 500,000/month.

Expand Variants, Features
Automotive devices have recently seen the need to shift towards higher voltages and Nichicon’s medium voltage-rated capacitors, which meet automotive-grade requirements, have been enjoying good demand along with its existing low-voltage capacitors. Nichicon’s recent efforts to expand its UCH Series by adding 50V and 63V versions will help meet the demand for higher heat resistance while contributing to better energy efficiency and longer lifespans in set devices.

Based on technologies Nichicon has developed, the UCH Series endurance-tested ESR regulation chip-type aluminum electrolytic capacitors employ a newly adopted low evaporation electrolyte and high-magnification anode foil to achieve even higher capacitance and lower ESR than the current 125°C low ESR-rated chip-type UCZ Series. Expansion of the voltage ratings allows the UCH Series to be used in set devices in automotive environments, and makes improvements in energy efficiency and long life possible. The UCZ Series has a rated life of 2,000 hours at 125°C.

UCM Series
Photo 3: UCM Series
Meanwhile, the company has also expanded the ratings of its UCM Series of chip-type aluminum electrolytic capacitors, adding 63V and 80V versions, which can meet the demand for denser mounting in medium-voltage applications while contributing to miniaturization, high performance, and reduced production costs that are in demand for set devices both in the digital electronics and automotive electronics markets.

The UCM Series’ new variants were based on Nichicon’s proprietary technologies, enabling the product line to make use of a thinner separator, high-magnification anode foil, thinner cathode foil, and a new electrolyte. As a result, the UCM Series achieves capacitances one rank higher than the company’s existing UCD Series, which is also a 105°C low-impedance chip-type product.

The UCM Series has been developed to contribute to lower production costs, space savings, and higher efficiency. The series is rated for 2,000 hours at 105°C.