My biggest problem is when I discharge a supercapacitor, let's say 100F 2.7V, I use a boost converter, but all boost converters have a minimum input voltage of about 0.9V. But the capacitor still has a lot of energy, about 40%.

It is frustrating because I'm not able to use this energy so my real useful capacity of capacitor is only 60%.

Does anyone have some idea how to fully discharge a supercapacitor?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be more concerned about 0.9 volts representing 40% of the full charge energy and why this figure isn't significantly lower than 40%. If you charged the cap to 2.5 volts (full charge) then 0.9 volts contains an energy of 13%. It's, a squared ratio; not linear. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jun 2 '20 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, am sorry, my misake \$\endgroup\$ – Sahasrar Jun 2 '20 at 13:42

The energy stored in a capacitor is given by :

$$E= \frac{CV^2}{2}$$

Fill in the numbers for both 2.7 V and 900mV:

$$E_{\text{full}} = \frac{100 \text{F} \cdot 2.7 \text{V}^2}{2}\approx365 \text{J}$$ $$E_{\text{end}} = \frac{100 \text{F} \cdot 0.9 \text{V}^2}{2}\approx41 \text{J}$$

In other words, we have \$41/365\approx 11\% \$ of the full capacity left when your converter dies.

Making DC/DC converters that can extract (part of) that 11% capacity left in the capacitor, without losing it all to lower overall efficiency, is an active and challenging topic within research.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for my mistake, you are right with calculating \$\endgroup\$ – Sahasrar Jun 2 '20 at 13:42

I use a peltier element on a heatsink for discharging mine. Just connect red and black leads of peltier to either side of capacitor and you should be able to get to your desired 0V.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This does answer the question in the title, but I think the OP was wanting to use all the stored energy for their device, rather than looking for a way to fully discharge it. \$\endgroup\$ – Colin Jun 3 '20 at 7:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ On rereading the question and particularly that second paragraph I realise my answer may not be as useful for the OP as was intended. \$\endgroup\$ – TheDarkVice Jun 3 '20 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, mate. Fully discharge and waste energy is pretty easy :D \$\endgroup\$ – Sahasrar Jun 4 '20 at 9:51

Use a charge pump IC @ <10mA to boost the uC Vdd then, no problem. An interim Cap to store enough energy is needed until the supercap is drained.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does anyone have some idea how to fully discharge a supercapacitor? .Why does some incompetent person downvote without a question? in comment reply \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart EE75 Aug 28 '20 at 6:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for advice, I have used IC TLV61200 to boost main converter TPS61088 and it works pretty well in my application \$\endgroup\$ – Sahasrar Sep 10 '20 at 12:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe someone downvote your answer because your answer is not specific, also my case in one question :D \$\endgroup\$ – Sahasrar Sep 10 '20 at 12:07

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