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Energy Action Month: The Role of Ultracapacitors in a More Energy-Efficient World

Energy Action Month: The Role of Ultracapacitors in a More Energy-Efficient World

| Maxwell Technologies

October marks Energy Action Month, a national effort for businesses, individuals and government to take steps toward reducing carbon emissions, protecting our environment, and achieving clean and efficient energy production.

Since the mid-1990s, Maxwell Technologies has worked with customers to implement high-power, fast responding energy storage solutions to address the complex challenges around long-term energy and high power needs. Maxwell’s ultracapacitors, also known as supercapacitors, have transformed the way businesses approach these challenges.

As the leader in the manufacture and design of ultracapacitor cell technology, we take this opportunity to inform the public and professionals in the energy industry on how ultracapacitor energy storage is contributing to operational efficiency in a variety of applications today.

Automotive: burst power for engine start-stop

While car batteries can store large amounts of energy, ultracapacitors effectively deliver short bursts of high power. For this reason, Maxwell’s ultracapacitors have been designed into engine start-stop systems. Over 4.5 million cars on the road use Maxwell’s ultracapacitors for this energy saving feature.


Solar power: stepping up efficiency for the sun’s rays

The University of California, San Diego runs one of the most advanced microgrids in the United States, which includes on-campus solar power systems. To address the problem of dips in solar power when the clouds block the sun, UC San Diego chose to install Maxwell’s ultracapacitors for solar smoothing to help produce more consistent, higher quality power output. The project has shown that ultracapacitors are a viable energy storage technology that can be scaled up for much larger grid projects for even greater energy capture and use optimization.


Wind farms: rotating a turbine’s blades just right

The long, spinning blades of wind turbines harness the energy of the wind, and while engineered for optimal blade strength, excessive wind speeds could cause irreparable blade damage. Wind farm operators have installed Maxwell’s ultracapacitors in over 58,000 turbines worldwide to rotate blades out of the wind during high wind speeds or when there is a grid power loss. The technology provides reliable performance and effectively protects wind turbines’ structural integrity thereby enabling wind turbines to continue to work effectively in capturing clean energy.


Railways: propelling trains forward with recycled energy

Most city rail systems use braking pads to reduce the train’s speed, but this age-old approach releases and loses energy. Ultracapacitors make trains more energy efficient via regenerative braking, a unique ultracapacitor capability to capture, save, and reuse energy that would otherwise dissipate as heat. Beijing set an example for rail operators when it employed Maxwell’s ultracapacitor energy storage for regenerative braking in its No. 8 line.  

To learn more about our ultracapacitors in systems worldwide, download Ultracapacitors: Transforming the Grid.

Maxwell Technologies commits to continuing to provide high quality and reliable ultracapacitor energy storage solutions and stands with the innovators and forward-thinking professionals who wish to see a future where energy is used, stored and produced responsibly.

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