Maxwell Technologies and Alcoa AFL Automotive to Develop Ultracapacitor-Based Cold-Start System for Trucks
Maxwell Technologies and Alcoa AFL Automotive have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of a cold-start system for the commercial transportation market. The companies will integrate Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors with AFL’s power management system to develop an efficient engine starting system.
The immediate goal for the two is to produce a cold-start system ready for testing and evaluation by truck OEMs by the end of the first quarter of 2007.
Increasing environmental regulations—not to mention the cost of fuel—preclude the ability of operators to allow their trucks to run all night. More than 20 states have enacted or are proposing regulations that prohibit running diesel truck engines overnight to power the “hotel loads”—heating, cooling, entertainment and other driver comfort feature.
Running those loads on battery power all night can leave the batteries with insufficient power to start the vehicle in the morning, especially in cold weather. With the proposed cold-start system, the ultracapacitor pack provides what amounts to an on-board jump-start capability, according to Allen Zwierzchowski, President, Worldwide Components AFL Automotive.
In addition, fleet owners incur significant costs due to vehicle downtime and jump-starting stranded trucks. Incorporating ultracapacitors to relieve batteries of demanding short-duration, high-current loads, such as cold starting, will improve overall system performance and reliability, extend battery life, and reduce battery maintenance and replacement costs.—Allen Zwierzchowski
AFL Automotive, an Alcoa business, designs, develops and produces electrical and electronic distribution systems for personal and commercial vehicles, working with vehicle manufacturers and their sub-suppliers in the major automotive centers in China, Japan, Asia, Europe and the United States.