Ultracaps Enable Green Tech Advances

When GigaOm recently put out its top 10 list of things to be thankful for in green technology, a couple of items caught my eye.

First, GigaOm staffer Katie Fehrenbacher notes that the Obama administration’s launch of a new fuel efficiency standard will bump up the requirements on passenger cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon within the next eight years.

Ultracapacitors will play a significant role in moving the automotive industry toward that goal. In combination with batteries, ultracaps are already giving the hybrid car and truck the means for high-energy, high-efficiency and high performance at a wide temperature range and with decreased maintenance needs. In particular, micro hybrids that use start-stop technology to save fuel and reduce emissions in traffic benefit from ultracapacitors, which let manufactures move toward the impending standards for fuel efficiency.

Also on the to-be-thankful-for list: smart meter installations. GigaOm notes that while there has been some negative attention to smart meter deployments, they are progressing quickly and jumped from a 6.5 percent U.S. penetration rate in 2009 to 13 to 18 percent in 2011.

As utilities seek out better ways to measure, predict and report consumption as a way to inform power conservation and generation, they are paying closer attention to ultracapacitors. The grid — eager to contain demand in smaller regions like municipalities, industrial parks and remote locations – is considering ways to pair  ultracaps with batteries to store and maximize energy and power.

As these efforts progress, there will also be an increased focus on automatic meter reading to monitor and improve energy use and decrease losses at point of use and at regional feeder terminal units. Here too, ultracaps will play a key role.

There’s certainly a lot to give thanks for in green tech this year, and ultracapacitor technology enables many of the advances gaining notice in the market.

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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