Ultracapacitors replace batteries for starting trucks

LOUISVILLE. A smart power module dedicated to starting duties can replace one or two heavy-duty truck batteries and significantly extend the life of a vehicle’s remaining lead acid batteries, according to Maxwell Technologies

LOUISVILLE. A smart power module dedicated to starting duties can replace one or two heavy-duty truck batteries and significantly extend the life of a vehicle’s remaining lead acid batteries, according to Maxwell Technologies.

Using ultracapacitor technology, Maxwell’s new Engine Start Module fully recharges in just 15 minutes, provides up to three starts on that charge in temperatures down to -40C, weighs half as much as a lead-acid battery, allows a truck’s remaining lead acid batteries to be dedicated to hotel loads, and should last up to four or five years in over-the-road service, according to Dennis Flynn, Maxwell dir. of market research.

The dedicated start module is packaged to fit in the space of a standard heavy-duty lead acid battery and is relatively easy to install with a provided harness and connectors. Once installed, it will handle all engine starts, reducing stress on the remaining lead acid batteries and extending their life, according to Flynn. The life of a typical lead acid battery is a few thousand charge/discharge cycles, Flynn told Fleet Owner, while the ultracapacitors used in the start module will survive up to a million cycles.

Currently in beta testing with fleets, a production version of Maxwell Engine Start Module is scheduled for release before the end of the year, according to Flynn. Price will be in the range of $1,200 to $1,500, he said.

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