Auto Electronics

Maxwell, Alcoa huddle on commercial cold start system

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 combine Maxwell's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors with AFL's power management system to develop an efficient engine starting system. Their goal is to produce a system ready for testing by the end of Q1 ’07.

More than 20 states have enacted or are proposing regulations that prohibit running diesel truck engines overnight to power so-called "hotel loads" (heating, cooling, entertainment and other driver comfort features), but 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. The Maxwell/Alcoa collaboration hopes to provide, in effect, an on-board jump-start capability.

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