Power Electronics

Ultracapacitor Modules Empower Heavy Hybrid And Electric Vehicles

By combining its Boostcap ultracapacitors with cell balancing, monitoring, and thermal management components, Maxwell Technologies has developed 125-V ultracapacitor modules that can provide energy storage and power delivery in heavy-duty hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and industrial equipment. In target applications such as hybrid buses and trucks, and in electric rail vehicles, the HTM BMOD0063-P125 modules will be used to recover braking energy and provide torque assist. Industrial applications include hybrid cranes and fuel-cell powered forklifts where the modules can satisfy peak power requirements.

“It [the module] meets or exceeds transportation industry requirements for watt-hours of energy storage and watts of power delivery per kilogram, and is designed to perform reliably through one million or more deep charge/discharge cycles, which equates to more than 15 years of operational life,” says Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell’s president and chief executive officer Balanson.

The 125-V modules serve as building blocks in the target applications. Up to 12 modules may be connected in series to accommodate operating voltages as high as 1500 V. The HTM BMOD0063-125 units are similar to the company’s existing modules, but use larger, 3000-F ultracapacitors. Integrated monitoring capabilities and forced-air cooling enable the new modules to sustain continuous currents up to 150 A with minimal temperature increase in high-temperature environments.

“In addition to managing high current, this module is built to withstand the harsh environments and extremely demanding duty cycles that are typical with heavy transportation applications,” says Michael Everett, Maxwell’s vice president and chief technical officer. “Proprietary design refinements and material science also are significantly reducing manufacturing cost, positioning Maxwell to compete favorably with other energy storage alternatives.”

The HTM BMOD0063-125 is encased in a rugged, splash-proof, IP 65-compliant, aluminum chassis, weighs less than 50 kg and measures 315 mm x 425 mm x 744 mm. For the complete datasheet, see www.maxwell.com/ultracapacitors/products/index.asp.

Production pricing ranges from $3000 to $4000 per unit depending on volume.

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