How Ultracapacitors Improve Starting Reliability for Truck Fleets

A free white paper by Maxwell Technologies

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It is often said in the trucking industry that “if the wheels aren’t turning, the business isn’t earning.” When fleets deliver freight on schedule, customers are pleased, drivers are less stressed, and fleet managers enjoy smooth operation of their businesses. However, when drivers are struggling with downtime caused by starting problems, battery-based engine starting may be an issue that needs examination.

How can fleet operators ensure that their drivers get through every day with no starting problems? In many cases, batteries are a less-than-dependable source of power for starting heavy and medium duty diesel trucks. Fortunately, using proven ultracapacitor technology for engine starting is an alternative choice that ensures reliable starting in the face of:

• Increasing accessory loads in the cab and sleeper
• Subfreezing overnight temperatures
• Excessive summer heat
• Many starts and stops during a day

Ultracapacitors provide a higher level of reliability and confidence in engine starting with minimal on-the-job hassle, keeping the “wheels turning” for your business.

This white paper will explore the advantages of ultracapacitor-based engine start technology for Class 6-8 trucks.

Industry Dynamics Influencing the Shift from Batteries to Ultracapacitors for Truck Starting

Some of the latest challenges fueling the growing trend toward ultracapacitor-based engine start technology include increased accessory and sleeper loads on the truck, anti-idle regulations, and reduced battery performance in cold weather, which has be­come more prevalent as electrical loads increase and anti-idle regulations propagate.

In order to attract and keep long-haul drivers, fleets are outfitting their trucks with sophisticated sleepers that provide drivers with the comforts of home—refrigerators, microwaves, television sets, and power for personal computers, GPS devices and cell phones. Even CPAP machines have found their way into the modern-day sleeper. While truck features have become more advanced, lead-acid battery technology devel­opment has not kept up with growing energy demands. Some OEMs offer up to eight batteries to support the truck’s power demands. More batteries result in increased tare weight and additional battery replacement costs...

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