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Maxwell Introduces Ultracapacitors for Automotive Power Network Stabilization

Maxwell Technologies has introduced Power-type versions of it its BOOSTCAP D-Cell ultracapacitor cells, packs and modules to provide high-performance, life-of-the system alternatives to batteries for automotive electrical power network stabilization and industrial applications.

The new BCAP0310 P250 310-farad, 2.5V cell and compact, fully integrated, six-cell 15-volt packs and modules provide simple, low-cost backup power solutions to avoid malfunctions that occur when multiple simultaneous electrical power demands cause a voltage sag that can upset microprocessors that manage electrical subsystems in modern vehicles.

The BCAP0310 P250 is the latest addition to the company’s line of Power-type ultracapacitor products targeted as alternatives to battery-based solutions for hybrid drive systems, idle stop-start, all-electric braking and steering and other applications in addition to power network stabilization.

Automakers are turning to ultracapacitors for solutions that optimize efficiency, ensure reliable cold starting, better manage power flows, stiffen and smoothen the power distribution network and provide fail-safe backup for critical safety systems. Maxwell’s Power products have the lowest equivalent series resistance (ESR) and highest efficiency available with current ultracapacitor technology.

—John Miller, Maxwell vice president for advanced transportation applications

Other new BOOSTCAP Power products include cells ranging in capacitance from 650 to 2,600 farads and 10 fully integrated modules based on the new cells. All of the cells with a capacitance of 650 farads or greater operate at 2.7 volts, enabling them to store more energy and deliver more power per unit volume than any other commercially available ultracapacitor products.



you can even buy them in the online store. and they have a cool calculator tool to help you pick how many of which type will be best for your need.

so, anyone interested in electric drag racing who has a very large budget can probably set a new record.


I guess some vitamin "Q" is in order since 8.8 secs for an EV dragster is still twice the time for a top fuel one.
If the EV dragster needs 7,000HP to compete, its needs to produce about 5MW for 4.4sec. Is any EV dragster designer planning to take on the Army's sponsored, top fuel machine?
Maybe they should ask for Navy sponsorship?


How do these compare to the ultracapacitors of EEStor? According to Wikipedia EEStor claims a unit with 37 farads capacitance and an operating voltage of 3.5 kV, capable of storing up to 52kWh. The technology is scheduled for third-party verification during the summer of 2006.

Tripp Bisop

EEStor has been such an enigma. I'm looking forward to reading the results of this third-party verification here on GCC later this summer/fall. If the results are good then there are probably some major changes coming down the pike in the PHEV/BEV industry. I'm not holding my breath though. Talk is cheap.


And according to their Patent, you get 52kWh in one, count'm, 1 cubic ft?!
Waiting on an announcement this month.
If its too good to be true,.......


What would the weight of that 1 cubic foot be? :)
Even if that were the case, you would still need NimH or etc batteries for long-term storage, since the caps will bleed off power.


According to the patent, 336 lbs.


As I said before, if they can bring this to market at anything like the price bandied about, it's the end of the internal combustion engine and the age of oil.

Tripp Bisop

I really hope it's true. I'm just very suspicious given the magnitude of the claim and the elusivness of the developers.

Rafael Seidl

In an automobile, ultracaps are very appropriate for providing short-term boost power. The 12V DC grid in passenger cars is being asked to support ever more devices, yet is limited to about 2kW sustained power. The losses in a conductor are proportional to its resistance and the square of the current. There was a push toward 42V systems but it seems to have fizzled.

It seems an upgrade to a second, higher voltage grid is only worthwhile in a mild or full hybrid. Note, however, that LuK (a German transmission manufacturer) has published details of a dual dry clutch system with an attached 14kW motor powered by a small number of ultracaps, intended for compact and subcompact cars. The power only lasts for a few seconds at a time, but when you think about it, that is really all you need. Pair this transmission with a small displacement (1.0-1.5 liter) 3-4 cylinder ICE, possibly turbocharged, and you have a capable, thrifty drivetrain with acceptable total weight. Supercap component cost is perhaps the biggest stumbling block left, especially for the target vehicle segment.

I disagree with Engineer-Poet, the ICE will not go away any time soon. The EEstor device, if it actually makes it to market, will likely be very expensive indeed.

John Abaunza

In a cap, Power(joules)=C(farads)xVolts(squared)/2
P(kw-hr)= ( 31f x 3500v x 3500v )/(2 x 1000 x 3600)
P(kw-hr)= 52.74. Todays electric car battery/motor combos run on about 350 volts. A pulse width modulator can use a 3500 volt EEStor cap to charge a small 350 volt, motor driving cap. In use, the EEStor cap voltage will sag and hit 350 volts when 99% of the stored energy (52.2 Kw-Hr)is discharged. 4400 volt power mains (the hi side of pole transformers), could deliver 52.8 KwHrs in 7.2 minutes (4400v x 100amps x 432 seconds).Regards all.

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