Ultracapacitors Deliver Critical Starts in Cold Weather

The weather is getting brisker here in Oneonta, reminding us that cold winter months are right around the corner. For fleet operators, this means uncertainty in whether their vehicles will operate properly in colder temperatures.


Photo Source: KHQ.com

Compared to batteries, which don’t operate well below 0 degrees Celsius, ultracapacitors are the ideal energy storage technology for manufacturers of school buses, delivery trucks, ambulances and fire trucks. The drivers of these vehicles can’t afford to wait for their engines to start in cold weather. They demand reliable vehicle starting systems that help them adhere to route schedules or respond to emergencies.

The higher engine friction levels of diesel engines make it more difficult to start in cold weather. With a lead-acid battery for engine cranking, cold temperatures increase this internal resistance. However, implementing a hybridized system of a battery paired with an ultracapacitor into diesel engine vehicles solves this problem since ultracapacitors have high efficiency, high charge acceptance and an operating range from +65 to -40 degrees Celsius.

In addition to assisting with cold starts, ultracapacitors provide the power needed for all critical start applications, no matter the temperature conditions. Ultracapacitors increase vehicle operation reliability and provide a quick, sound start for internal combustion engine cranking. Engines will start, regardless of the state of charge of the on-board battery, when ultracapacitors power these applications.

Latest News

  • uSTART® Lead-Free Replacement for Truck Batteries

    ONEONTA, N.Y.Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ioxus uSTART® has received two fleet industry awards for sustainability by eliminating lead-acid batteries with its ultracapacitor-based, drop-in battery replacement.

    "With uSTART, fleets not only realize the benefits of improved starting reliability, there are equally important and real sustainability improvements from lead waste reduction," said Chad Hall, executive vice president and co-founder of Ioxus. "By replacing one of the batteries on a vehicle with a uSTART module, up to 15 fewer batteries are needed over the lifetime of the vehicle. This translates into 1,000 pounds of lead that will never need to be disposed of or allowed to affect groundwater."

    EU legislation on batteries is embodied in the European Battery Directive.  Its objective is to contribute to the preservation and improvement of environmental quality by minimizing the negative impact of batteries and battery waste.  As these preservation efforts expand, sustainable technologies develop to manage and mitigate these risks.

    Replacing a lead-acid battery with uSTART in a typical commercial vehicle creates measurable environmental benefits:

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