Maxwell Technologies


Start Strong
Welcome to the first edition of the Maxwell quarterly newsletter
Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is the innovative forerunner of an engine starting solution that effectively eliminates jump starts, reduces idling, and saves weight in Class 6-8 diesel trucks. It uses ultracapacitors to store a very large amount of power which is delivered quickly in burst form to the starter under all sorts of adverse conditions. Read on to learn more.
Wanna Start Something? A Look at Today’s Engine Starting Dilemma
The lead-acid battery has changed little in fit and function since its invention in 1859. Nevertheless, it has performed well in the engine start application beginning with its introduction as an option on the 1912 Cadillac. During the past 100 years, the demands placed on the vehicle’s SLI (starting/lighting/ignition) battery have increased dramatically.

Engine displacement has grown, compression ratio has increased, diesel engines were introduced in 1923 – all contributing to increased need for cranking/starting power. Next, the extensive adoption of vehicle accessories in the way of lighting, lift-gates, radios, sound systems, telematics, and computers created an increase in the need for energy from the same battery. The rise in popularity of sleepers on long-haul trucks dramatically exacerbated the problem with the addition of televisions, electric blankets, blenders, microwave ovens, coffee makers, and CPAP machines. The combination of power and energy requirements place different and conflicting demands on the battery. The ideal solution is really two different battery designs: A starting POWER battery design for engine cranking, and a deep-cycle ENERGY battery design for accessory loads. Because only one battery type can be accommodated in a vehicle, a combined general purpose battery was developed to try and handle both needs.

The increasing need for energy (particularly in trucks with sleepers and/or lift-gates) began requiring more power than the resident general purpose batteries could provide, resulting in stranded trucks due to drained batteries. The problem was made more severe by cold weather since diesel engines require more cranking current when temperature drops; while at the same time batteries temporarily lose cranking power in cold temperatures.
ultracapacitor cell


Do you want to be Maxwell Smart? Read about the Maxwell Starting Solution
Maxwell pioneered the development of ultracapacitors and has been manufacturing them for over 20 years, quickly becoming the industry leader in ultracapacitor technology. We recognized the need for a dedicated high power starting system that will reliably crank and start the engine - even if the batteries are seriously discharged. With their high burst power capability, Maxwell ultracapacitors are far more effective at cranking large diesel engines than conventional lead-acid batteries.

By taking over the cranking/starting function, ultracapacitors leave the batteries free to power parasitic accessory loads without worry or concern about saving back enough power in the batteries to crank and start the engine. Additionally, it becomes possible to utilize dedicated deep cycle batteries for powering the accessory loads.
What’s in the Box?
The Maxwell Engine Start Module (ESM) uses 12 ultracapacitor cells connected together in series/parallel combination to provide up to 16.2 volts of high-current cranking power. The cells are hermetically sealed and there is no exposed liquid to maintain or worry about.

The ESM replaces one of the vehicle’s group 31 batteries and takes over all engine cranking. The third terminal connects directly to the starter motor. The other 2 terminals are 12V inputs from the battery/charging system to keep the ESM fully charged at all times.



How ultracapacitors work with no lead, no acid, no lithium, no nickel and no cadmium.
Chemical reactions take time and limit how fast the battery can be charged or discharged. Also, over time chemicals become depleted because they always have a maximum number of charge/discharge cycles. None of these limitations exist in ultracapacitors which are capable of hundreds of thousands of charge/discharge cycles during their lifetime. Since there is no chemical reaction required for operation of the device, ultracapacitors can be repeatedly charged and discharged very rapidly – in a matter of seconds with no limit on product life.


Jump starts don’t have to be a way of life
Perhaps the single biggest advantage of the ESM (over batteries) is its extremely reliable cranking capability over a wide temperature range. With its ability to deliver 1800 CCA*, the ESM can reliably crank and start diesel engines at temperatures as low as -40⁰C. This means significant reduction, if not the complete elimination, of jump-starts. Because the ESM is always fully charged, it is ready for the most demanding cranking situation – even if the lead-acid batteries are seriously discharged. With jump-starts costing anywhere from $150 to $500, it doesn’t take long for the ESM to pay for itself many times over. We may have to live with death & taxes, but we certainly have an option when it comes to jump-starts. With the ESM, they become a headache of the past.
*Ultracapacitor CCA is calculated differently than a battery using a different interval. Consult FOOTNOTES section of product datasheet for details.


Eliminate idling in cold weather
With few exceptions, drivers are fearful of shutting off their trucks for long periods of time in cold weather. The reason is simple: They’re afraid that the engine won’t start later on. So they let the engine idle. For hours. Wasted fuel and high winter-time fuel bills are the result. With the ESM, drivers soon gain confidence that they can shut the engine off when it’s 5 below out, VOILA! It starts right up when time to hit the road. No jump. No wasted fuel.
Our customers say it best.
Read what they’re telling us:
"Very easy to install, just ran a new wire for the truck’s electronics. Thirteen degrees out yesterday morning and it started better than if it had new batteries and was plugged in. I'm going to install them in both of my Pete's."
- Owner operator
"The ESM alone cranks the engine faster than the four lead-acids ever did. Engine starts much quicker now.”
- Freight expeditor owner operator
"Wow, I never heard it start like that before.”
- Chief mechanic, large for-hire fleet
"I am impressed. Our Monday morning jump-start nightmare is gone since we converted the trucks to ESMs.”
- Maintenance mechanic for large ready-mix fleet
"Battery voltage [of lead-acid batteries] can be 10 volts and the engine starts right up. To me, that’s amazing.”
- Fleet maintenance manager for long-haul private fleet
Upcoming tradeshows
featuring the Maxwell ESM


TMC Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibit
Nashville, TN
Event Details


NTEA Work Truck Show
Indianapolis, IN
Event Details


Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS)
Louisville, KY
Event Details


Cincinnati, OH
Event Details
Tech Tip
With an ESM in your truck (or trucks), you are effectively repurposing your remaining starting (SLI) batteries as they no longer crank the engine; they now power various energy loads on the truck and in the sleeper. That being the case, you can replace the SLI batteries with high energy deep-cycle batteries which are ideally suited for powering sleeper loads like the TV, lights, computer, coffee pot, microwave, and so on. They also excel at supplying power for lift-gates. In both cases, batteries can be significantly discharged (past the point of starting the engine)* and the ESM will still easily crank and start the engine. It’s a win-win solution.
* Voltage must remain high enough to power ECM/ECU
In our next issue of this newsletter you’ll read about:
- A featured installation
- How to figure out payback period when buying an ESM
- A few more “techy” details
- How an ESM extends your starter motor life
- Higher cranking voltage/power as temperature drops (opposite of a battery)
- A major new product announcement
How to Contact Us:
Telephone: 858-503-3300
Fax: 858-503-3301
twitter facebook googleplus youtube linkedin linkedin


This email was sent to: %%email%%
This email was sent by: Maxwell Technologies, Inc.
3888 Calle Fortunada SAN DIEGO, CA 92123 USA

Don't want to receive these emails.
Click here to manage your subscription
or unsubscribe from all