Ultracapacitor Device Boosts Performance, Saves Batteries
Maxwell Technologies is promoting its ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module for the second year running at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, and says that the product is gaining sure momentum, as more than 1,500 have been manufactured.
One Southern California fleet, with some 500 trucks, has already installed about 200 of the Maxwell ESM units, says senior product manager Jeff Brakley.
“Rugged, lightweight and maintenance-free, Maxwell’s Engine Start Module is a group 31 form factor [a standard Battery Council International size] that delivers the quick-burst power big engines need to crank in extreme weather,” Maxwell (NASDAQ:MXWL) says.
“It looks very similar to a standard lead acid or AGM battery except it has three terminals instead of two,” says Brakley. The two are connected in parallel to the trucks regular battery (to charge the ESM), while the third ESM terminal is connected directly to the starter. The starter thus works off the ESM, reducing strain on the truck’s lead acids.
RoI of 12 to 18 Months
“It takes the high load of starting the vehicle away from the battery and puts it on the ultracapacitor,” Brakley told F&F. “Your batteries are going to last longer.”
And, if the truck’s lead acid batteries are drained, perhaps from running accessories overnight with the engine off, “you can rest assured that the ultracapacitors will start the truck in the morning.”
“The ultracapacitor module, which is being evaluated by more than 20 truck fleets, delivers power for hundreds of thousands reliable starts, and in most cases, will outlast the vehicle itself,” states Maxwell’s MATS release. “Other features include easy installation, overall system power performance and lead acid battery life extension, leading to low total cost of ownership, improved driver safety and on-time delivery results.”
The Maxwell ESM carries an MSRP of about $1,000, Brakley says, for which Maxwell estimates an Return on Investment of just 12 to 18 months.
Pana-Pacific is a key Maxwell ESM distributor.
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Source: Maxwell Technologies with Fleets & Fuels follow-up