Power Electronics

Companies Co-develop Ultracap Modules For Cars

Maxwell Technologies and Valeo have signed a memorandum of understanding to incorporate Maxwell's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors in Valeo's next-generation starter-alternator reversible system (14+X StARS). The system enables standard gasoline and diesel engines to shut down during idle phases and restart instantly, eliminating fuel consumption and emissions anytime the vehicle is stopped. Valeo estimates that the system can reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions by about 12% percent in normal operation and more than 20% in urban traffic.

The system consists of a reversible starter-alternator, a multi-cell ultracapacitor energy-storage module, and other power and control electronics in a 14-V architecture. The ultracapacitor energy storage module allows the system to recuperate and store energy from braking. The recovered energy is then available to power peak electrical loads such as de-icing and rapid cabin and seat heating and cooling, avoiding increased fuel consumption for such functions.

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