News | March 29, 2004

Maxwell Technologies Introduces New 'D Cell' Ultracapacitor

Source: Maxwell Technologies

New battery-sized form factor facilitates market adoption of ultracapacitors by delivering significant time-to-market and cost savings benefits to manufacturers

San Diego -- Maxwell Technologies today announced the BCAP0350 D Cell BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor, the first ultracapacitor based on an industry standard form factor. The new D Cell product provides system designers a lower-cost, highly reliable, and standard-sized energy storage and power delivery component for seamless and rapid integration into a variety of applications. Maxwell's D Cell is the first in a series of new ultracapacitors to be standardized on battery-sizing to drive down the costs and ease the integration of the technology.

Ultracapacitors provide a safe and reliable power solution for applications requiring backup energy or pulses of power in the transportation, renewable energy, consumer electronics, space and telecommunications industries. Manufacturers recognize the benefits of ultracapacitors over batteries alone, yet the cost of integrating ultracapacitors into designs has previously hindered mass adoption. By standardizing its ultracapacitors, Maxwell is reducing its manufacturing costs by more than 50% and passing that savings directly to OEMs, as well as reducing time-to-market by supplying a known form factor for seamless, rapid product integration. Utilizing Maxwell's D Cell, manufacturers can offer more powerful and reliable end-solutions to customers without significant investments and design time. Additionally, with the introduction of the BCAP0350, there is a 3-to-1 improvement in energy and power density as compared to Maxwell's current BCAP0013, a 450-farad cell. The BCAP0013 has approximately 7 joules per cc, while the new BCAP0350 has approximately 21 joules per cc due to a more efficient overall package and manufacturing improvements.

"As an industry association formed to foster the commercialization of ultracapacitors around the world, our mission is focused on development of standards and education-outreach tools for the industry," said Claude Letourneau, executive director, KiloFarad International (KFI). "Maxwell's standardization of the technology represents a true innovation in the industry and will help to drive acceptance of high performance ultracapacitors as mainstream energy storage systems in automotive, industrial power systems and consumer electronics."

Maxwell's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors deliver up to 10 times the power and longevity of batteries, require no maintenance and operate reliably in extreme temperatures and voltages. Maxwell's D Cell provides particular benefit to the transportation, industrial and renewable energy markets, where long product lifecycles hinder significant product redesigns. In the transportation market, designers can integrate the D Cell to power initial acceleration, operate electrical subsystems and recapture energy from braking for cleaner, more fuel-efficient hybrid electric/internal combustion automobiles. In mission critical industrial applications, where pulse power is critical for a soft shutdown in emergency situations, designers now have a lightweight, durable and cost-effective solution that requires no maintenance. For windmill pitch control systems, the D Cell provides a simple, solid state, highly reliable solution to buffer short-term mismatches between the power available and the power required.

"Ultracapacitors are widely available and used today to increase the power and reliability of a wide variety of applications, all while reducing size, maintenance and cost requirements," said Richard Smith, Maxwell's executive vice president of strategic business development. "By standardizing our ultracapacitors, we are reducing manufacturing costs by 50%, a savings we pass along directly to our OEM customers, and providing engineers a known form factor for easy design-in."

Maxwell's D Cell supplies bursts of high power and recharges rapidly from any energy source over hundreds of thousands of cycles without significant performance degradation. The D Cell has ultra-low internal resistance so energy is easily collected and stored for reuse. Providing reliability assurance, the ultracapacitors have a 10 year-life capability, deliver more than 500,000 discharge-recharge cycles and are resistant against reverse polarity. The D Cell has a capacitance of 350 Farads (DCC, 25°C) and is rated at 2.5 volts. The cylindrical cells are constructed of aluminum, feature a round, double-ended design measuring 61.5 x 33 mm (L x OD), similar to EN 60086-2 and EN 60285 sizing, and weigh only 60 grams.

Source: Maxwell Technologies