New ESM improves starting reliability and uptime in industrial diesel engine equipment.

Maxwell Technologies, Inc., recently announced the availability of its 24-volt ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM), ideal for improving equipment uptime and power reliability in buses and industrial vehicles, such as cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, graders, pavers, off-road trucks, portable compressors and others with diesel engines. The 24-volt ESM enables vehicles to start and operate reliably in the face of cold weather and infrequent starting. The new product expands Maxwell’s Engine Starting Solutions line to build on the success of its 12-volt ESM and deliver those benefits to diesel engine vehicles used in transportation, construction, military, agricultural, forestry, mining and other industries.

When faced with extended periods of non-use or low temperatures, diesel engines are often difficult to start. As with Maxwell’s 12-volt ESM, the 24-volt product completely takes over the engine cranking and starting function by remaining fully charged, even if battery voltage drops significantly. Maxwell’s 24-volt ESM cranks and starts an engine when batteries can’t. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) integrating Maxwell’s 24-volt ESM will produce a higher-quality vehicle capable of increasing productivity for their customers by helping them avoid the common problems experienced when using lead-acid batteries to start diesel engines.

“Maxwell’s 24-volt ESM enables our 6.7 liter diesel-equipped machines to successfully start at arctic temperatures, even with batteries that have been intentionally drained,” said Charles Hedrick III, control systems and electrical engineer at Manitowoc Cranes, a major manufacturer of industrial cranes and a user of the 24-volt ESM. “By removing the batteries from the cranking equation, the ESM allows machines to provide stable power to sensitive electronics, preventing the problems that coincide with trying to start a machine with dead batteries.”

Jeff Brakley, senior business portfolio manager at Maxwell Technologies, said, “We always strive to bring our customers new technologies that make it easier to conduct business efficiently and effectively. The addition of the 24-volt ESM brings the benefits of reliable starting to a wider market, minimizing the effects of low temperatures and long periods of downtime for companies in the transportation, construction, agriculture, forestry and mining industries."

There are two models of the 24-volt ESM: The ULTRA 31/900/24V for starting diesel engines up to 12.5 liters and the ULTRA 31/1100/24V for engines up to 15.0 liters. Both are packaged in BCI Group 31 form factor.

Unlike batteries, which produce and store energy by means of a chemical reaction, ultracapacitors store energy in an electric field. This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as fractions of a second, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40 degrees Celsius to +65 degrees Celsius/-40 degrees Fahrenheit to +149 degrees Fahrenheit), operate reliably in up to 1 million or more charge/discharge cycles and resist shock and vibration. Maxwell offers ultracapacitor cells ranging in capacitance from one to 3,400 farads and multi-cell modules ranging from 12 to 160 volts. For more information on Maxwell’s ultracapacitor products, please visit Maxwell.com.

The Maxwell 24-volt, ultracapacitor-based engine start module will be generally available beginning in mid-May.