Power at the Point of Demand

To build better automobiles and gain an advantage over competitors, automotive engineers continue to research new ways to improve functionality, maximize performance and advance technology. One area of research that is quickly progressing is how to make the electrical bus more efficient and higher-performing. This has led to engineers making more liberal use of ultracapacitors located at the point of demand. By applying ultracapacitors to different applications throughout a vehicle, the copper content is significantly reduced and allows the battery to function without a large current flow. The wires that go to the desired application can be smaller in size, since they no longer need to carry as much current. Now with the elimination of large current spikes, engineers are able to stabilize the vehicle’s voltage and extend the life-cycle of the battery by placing less of a demand on it. As a result, replacing the battery becomes a far less frequent occurrence.


This type of thinking and manufacturing aids engineers in the design process as well; able to simplify without sacrificing performance. Less copper, in addition to decreased manufacturing costs, reduces a vehicles’ weight, allowing for better fuel consumption and reducing transportation costs.

A reliable battery and energy source helps drive innovation for transportation, especially around safety. From sensors that alert us when we’re falling asleep to warning systems that sound an alarm when we veer too close to other cars; all these applications require a high amount of power. As such, engineers must be able to ensure that the power supply feeding these applications can be delivered at a moment’s notice, which is why ultracapacitors are so vital to automotive safety. Batteries alone are not equipped to sustain the long cycle life needed to support these safety requirements. For example, some car companies use ultracapacitors to deliver the energy that powers electric windows. If a driver experiences an accident or is submerged in water, ultracapacitor-powered sensors alert the windows to open or close. The same can be said for auxiliary load functions like electric steering and air conditioning. Each function requires a steady demand of energy with peak periods of high power.

Another benefit of ultracapacitor technology is the potential to have a positive impact on the environment. Automotive engineers and designers have a responsibility to build vehicles that are as ‘green’ as possible. Ultracapacitors have no detrimental effects on the environment and are built to provide cost-effective, green energy solutions. This feature, combined with the decrease in copper used, produces an ecological design that many buyers expect in today’s automobiles. The system becomes more efficient, along with the supply chain.

The future of transportation design is in the hands of engineers who think beyond traditional ESS and consider ‘power beyond the battery.’ Modifying the amount of copper routinely used in vehicles helps optimize performance across the board, but is just the start. As vehicles and the consumer become smarter, automotive engineers need to keep pace. All of the components, devices and connectivity embedded into our cars are for nothing if the energy needed to power them at the time of demand is lacking or non-existent. Ultracapacitor ESS offers the most reliable and greatest return on investment of any ESS available today, and automotive engineers are beginning to realize this.

- Any questions or comments? Feel free to send me an email (CHall@ioxus.com) or reach me on Twitter@PowerHall_UCAPS.

Latest News

  • IOXUS' uSTART® Receives Edison Award for its Engine Enhancement Innovation

    Ioxus, designers and manufacturers of smart power solutions based on its widely used ultracapacitor technology, today announced that it was named a Bronze winner in the Engine Enhancement category of the 2018 Edison Awards. The announcement was made at the Edison Awards Gala in New York City.

    “We are very proud to have received an internationally recognized Edison Award and to be named a winner alongside companies like Mazda Motor Corporation and CFM International, a joint company of GE and Safran Group, for our engine enhancement achievements,” said Mark McGough, CEO and president of Ioxus, Inc. “This award is recognition that uSTART is proving highly reliable and valuable for fleets in the trucking industry. Being recognized with an Edison Award is one of the highest accolades we can receive in the name of innovation.”

    Inspired by Thomas Edison’s persistence and inventiveness, the Edison Awards are judged by a panel of more than 3,000 leading business executives, including past award winners, academics and leaders in the fields of product development, design and engineering. The judges recognize products as true innovations in their category.

    In addition to the Awards Gala, the annual Edison Awards program encompassed a full-day, “Meet the Innovators Forum” and the, “Innovators’ Showcase,” which offered guests a hands-on experience with read more...

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