Panasonic Industry announces commercial production of industry first*1 high capacitance type*2 conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors for automotive guaranteed to operate at 135°C

Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President, CEO: Shinji Sakamoto) announced today that it has begun commercial production of its ZL series conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors. The series includes the industry’s first high-capacitance type models guaranteed to operate at 135°C. These capacitors have been developed for installation in electronic control units (ECUs)[1] for electric vehicles (now sometimes referred to as xEVs, a catchall for EVs and all their subtypes), including hybrids. Mass production is slated to begin in February 2024.

Conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors, characterized by high capacitance and high current, are responsible for reducing current noise and stabilizing circuit voltage in ECU power supply circuits, with more than 100 packs used in a typical xEV. They are key devices that are indispensable for the electrification and advanced digitization of vehicles. In recent years, ECUs mounted on vehicles have proliferated, and their power consumption has increased in step with vehicle electrification and the rise of autonomous driving. In particular, applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)[2], electric power steering (EPS)[3], and automatic braking require a redundant design with two identical circuits installed in a vehicle to improve safety, resulting in a trend towards a further increase in the number of capacitors used per ECU. However, the limited space available for installation in the vehicle body requires ECUs to process high currents in a compact size, which increases the amount of heat generated within the ECU. Therefore, capacitors are required to not only be more heat-resistant but also smaller in form factor while offering more capacitance than ever before.

Panasonic Industry began mass producing conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors in 2012, and has led the way with industry-first products. Recently, the company has further evolved its proprietary electrolyte and high-precision electrode foil winding technology with a view to commercial production of the ZL series capacitors. With a lineup of five major sizes, these capacitors overcome circuit design restrictions through heat control measures and achieve a one rank smaller size than the company’s existing standard ZC series products without changing the capacitance.

Utilizing its proprietary device technology, Panasonic Industry will strive to contribute to enhancing the performance and reliability of electric vehicles and reduce equipment weight. This, in turn, will lead to improved fuel efficiency and contribute to decreased environmental impact by reducing the quantity of parts and materials used.

Panasonic’s automotive conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors have the following features:

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