Maxwell Technologies

Maxwell Ultracapacitor Cold Starting Solutions

Most everyone has experienced that rrr-click sound when a vehicle battery can’t muster enough power to turn the engine over and get it started. Cold weather, multiple electrical loads competing for energy at the same time or normal wear and tear can rob a battery of its cranking power, stranding a vehicle and its passengers or cargo without warning.

Ultracapacitors, with their exceptionally high power density even at very low temperatures, can eliminate that problem and guarantee a quick, reliable start regardless of temperature, other electrical demands or battery age. That’s because, unlike batteries, which rely on a chemical reaction to generate energy and deliver cranking power, ultracapacitors store energy electrostatically and can reliably deliver the quick burst of power required to start a vehicle whenever it’s needed. Ultracapacitors re-charge battery or any other electrical energy source. As a matter of fact, ultracapacitors can trickle charge from a battery that is too weak or too cold to deliver sufficient power to start a vehicle and accumulate enough energy to start the engine.

Now that ultracapacitors have entered the energy storage mainstream and are being cost-effectively mass produced, vehicle designers for cars, trucks, buses, snow mobiles and boats are integrating Maxwell ultracapacitors with batteries in new electrical system architectures that eliminate starting failures, even at temperatures as low as -40°. The modest additional cost of incorporating an ultracapacitor module and associated power electronics can be partially or completely offset by reducing the size, weight and cost of the batteries, eliminating heavy, expensive cabling and by eliminating the cost of jump starts and loss of productivity from dead vehicles. Automakers and Tier 1 suppliers to the auto industry have designed ultracapacitor-assisted starting systems that are moving into production, and many of Maxwell’s customers have built jump starting systems or cold engine start systems for busses and other vehicles.

Maxwell Ultracapacitors

With a cycle life of 1,000,000 cycles, Maxwell Technologies ultracapacitors can be rapidly charged and discharged over, and over again, making them one of the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost effective ways to store energy.