Maxwell Technologies


Start Strong
Welcome to the Maxwell Quarterly Newsletter
Vol 1 Issue 2
Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is the innovative pioneer 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 over a wide temperature range. We start diesel engines like nobody else. Read on to learn more.
BIG NEWS: Kenworth Offers Maxwell ESM as Option on New Trucks
Maxwell and Kenworth At the 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show, Kenworth announced that the Maxwell Engine Start Module (ESM) is now an option on new T680 and T880 Class 8 trucks and tractors. Kenworth is the first manufacturer of heavy duty trucks to offer ultracapacitor-based starting systems on new trucks. Orders for the ESM option will be accepted beginning in April with initial delivery in early June. The ESM may still be purchased as an aftermarket part from any PACCAR dealer for installation into existing Kenworth or Peterbilt trucks. With the ESM pre-installed in the new truck, owners can take advantage of ESM benefits from day one: Jump-starts are a headache of the past, idle reduction can be immediately realized, and weight savings are real. The beauty is that the ESM is included in the cost of the truck and can be capitalized/amortized over the life of the truck. No need to expense it under repair or maintenance on your books.

Other links you may find interesting:
24 Volt ESM


Maxwell Announces 24-Volt Versions of Engine Start Module
On April 22, 2015, Maxwell Technologies announced immediate availability of two new Engine Start Modules for 24-volt applications. Based on the very successful 12-volt product design, these modules are perfectly suited for starting diesel engines with 24-volt starters in construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, military, and public transportation applications. Equipment types include cranes, graders, bulldozers, backhoes, trenchers, pavers, combines, off-road trucks, feller-bunchers, buses and portable compressors. Effectively eliminate field jump-starts, lost productivity, driver/operators on standby time, or equipment downtime due to weak batteries. The two models include the ULTRA 31/900/24V and ULTRA 31/1100/24V for starting diesel engines up to 12.5 and 15.0 liters, respectively. Click here to download or view the 24-Volt ESM datasheet.
Calculating Savings, Payback and ROI
It’s often a challenge to decipher manufacturers’ claims regarding savings, payback periods and return on investment (ROI). Sadly, it’s even more difficult to relate those claims to your own specific situation. So often, we see claims like: “Save up to 13% on fuel bills.” It’s the two words “up to” that cause all the problems. At Maxwell, we never say “up to” when it comes to cost savings, because we know that not all of our customers are able to realize the “up to” number in their own particular setting. Instead, we have developed a method for you to calculate the savings and payback period that you will most likely realize when you purchase and install a Maxwell Engine Start Module. We have designed a savings payback calculator that takes into account your specific set of circumstances (age of truck, observed battery life, number of jump-starts per year, cost of a jump-start, idle reduction opportunity, and many other parameters) to model and calculate the anticipated savings that you will experience with the ESM installed in your truck(s). Why not give it a test drive? You’ll like it. Click here to access Maxwell’s savings calculator.
Starter Motor Life
imgOn occasion we are asked the question: “The ESM cranks my engine with 15 volts. Won’t that burn out my starter motor?” In response to this, Maxwell has submitted ESM samples to multiple starter motor manufacturers for life cycle starter motor testing. Depending on the manufacturer, these tests require at least 40,000 consecutive starts without a failure. Testing to date has revealed no problems and, in the near future, we expect to release test results and reports from these manufacturers. It is well recognized by the industry that the major cause of shortened starter motor life is low voltage cranking for long periods of time. This builds up excessive heat in the windings, resulting in premature failure. The technical reason is that, due to insufficient RPM during cranking, the back-EMF generated by the rotating assembly is low, thus continuing to draw excessive current from the battery. The excessive current is converted to heat instead of rotational energy and is dissipated in the windings, resulting in severe overheating that eventually causes an open circuit in the winding.

By cranking at a higher voltage, the ESM is able to 1) spin the starter motor at roughly 40% higher RPM than batteries, resulting in higher back-EMF and lower current draw – thus providing lower winding temperatures, and 2) start the engine in roughly 60% of the time required to start the engine with batteries. The result is cooler operation of the starter with less cranking time required to start the engine. Bottom line: No more starter motor failures due to extended low voltage cranking.
Engine Cranking in Cold Weather
img The figure to the left shows the effect of cold temperature on the available cranking power of batteries compared to the power required by the engine to crank and start successfully.

At –20°F the batteries provide only 25% of the cranking power that they provide at 80°F, while the engine now needs 350% of the power it requires to crank at 80°F. Put another way, the batteries are providing one-fourth (¼) of their output power while at the same time the engine needs 3.5 times as much power. At this low temperature, the batteries are providing one-fourteenth (1/14) the power needed to crank and start the engine.

The Maxwell ESM competently addresses this problem by raising its output voltage from 15 volts at 72°F to a maximum of 16.2 volts when below freezing. The result is that the ESM increases its output power as temperature drops – the opposite of a battery. At –20°F, the ESM actually delivers 15% more cranking amps at –20°F than it does at 80°F. Compare this with the battery’s drop of 75% in cranking amps at –20°F. The ESM cranking advantage over batteries is very real and significant in cold temperatures. That’s why a single ESM with 1800 CCA* at –20°F can crank and start an engine faster than four Group 31 925 CCA batteries at the same temperature.
New Distribution Partners Signed Recently by Maxwell
img At Maxwell, we continue to expand our list of distribution partners to make it easy for you to locate and purchase our products. We have distributors with a variety of specialties that can address your specific needs.
The ESM product line is now available from:
- NEW TRUCK DEALERS (SALES & INSTALLATION): PACCAR parts (Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers), and all Volvo/Mack dealers
- INDEPENDENT SALES & INSTALLATION: Boss Shops, Purkeys Fleet Electric
- MAIL ORDER: FleetPride, RV Cams
- CANADA: Harman Heavy Vehicle Specialists, Parts for Trucks

Click here for detailed Where to Buy information
Free Maxwell ESM Webinar on May 6
Sign up for Maxwell’s free webinar on Wednesday, May 6 for a one hour introduction to the ESM. Engine Start Field Applications Manager Sean Flatley will discuss starting problems and solutions, and will provide an overview of the ESM, its features, installation, and where to purchase the product. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in a Q&A session at the end of the webinar. Register soon—space is limited!

Sign Up
Free Webinar
Upcoming Trade Shows
Featuring the Maxwell ESM


National Private Truck Council (NPTC)
Cincinnati, Ohio


CMC Live
Kansas City, MO


International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE)
Louisville, KY


ATA American Trucking Association Conference and Exhibition
Philadelphia, PA
In our next issue of this newsletter, you’ll read about:
- Featured installation case history
- Video – see how we demonstrate the ease of installing an ESM
- Starter cable gauge recommendations
- Low voltage disconnect and battery reserve capacity for sleeper hotel loads
How to Contact Us:
Telephone: 858-503-3300
Fax: 858-503-3301
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