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Solve Your Sleeper Load Problems with Ultracapacitor Power

Solve Your Sleeper Load Problems with Ultracapacitor Power

| Mark Burnside, Sr. Product Manager, Engine Starting

Truck drivers deal with a multitude of challenges on the road, one of which is inadequate power left in the batteries to crank the engine due to use of sleeper accessories. Since they are connected to the same set of batteries that also start the truck’s engine, these loads will discharge the batteries to the point where they can no longer start the engine. It’s not a good feeling when you wake up in the morning, turn the key, and no start!

Sleeper accessories (also called hotel loads) include lighting, television, music, radio, refrigerator and CPAP machines used by drivers with sleep apnea. All of these loads get their power from the batteries when the truck engine is off. Many drivers will let the engine idle all night so they can run heating or cooling, or just so that they can start in the morning. Leaving the truck running overnight is not only a major waste of expensive fuel, it is also against the law in many states that are passing anti-idle regulations to curb the health and environmental hazards of idling.

One solution drivers turn to is Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) installation. APUs installed on trucks can be either battery powered or powered by a small diesel engine.  The latter start automatically and can handle major power loads. The downside to APUs is they are expensive, often hard to maintain and they take up valuable space.

Ultracapacitors can solve your sleeper load problems. Maxwell’s Engine Start Module is composed of ultracapacitor cells, and its only purpose is to START the truck. That’s it. The ultracapacitor module replaces one of the truck’s batteries and provides the burst power required to start the engine.

When you make the ultracapacitor the only power source for starting the truck, your sleeper loads can deplete the batteries to a far lower level because there is no longer a requirement to save back enough battery power to start the engine. Ultracapacitors allow drivers to use sleeper comforts while giving them the peace of mind that their trucks will start in the morning.

Mike EverettMark Burnside
Sr. Product Manager, Engine Starting
About this author

Mark Burnside joined Maxwell Technologies in 2008 as senior manager of program management, responsible for managing cross-functional teams in the development of ultracapacitor products from concept through production release. He contributed to the development of the Engine Start Module (ESM) product from its inception and was promoted to senior product manager, engine starting, in 2013.

Mark is a member of the Electrical Generating Systems Association (EGSA) and an Associate Corporate member of the American Trucking Association (ATA) and the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC). Throughout his 40-year career he has held engineering management, program management and marketing management positions for several leading commercial high-tech companies, including Varian Associates, Xerox, Maxtor, Iomega and Ametek Programmable Power. For a six-year period, Mark owned and operated four Batteries Plus commercial/retail outlets, marketing and selling batteries to truck, bus and fleet customers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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