Maxwell enters Genset Starting Market with Ultracap Modules

December 12, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. today announced the Generator Starting Solutions (GSS) product line. As the newest addition to the company's ultracapacitor-based product offerings, the GSS modules help start commercial and industrial standby and backup generators (gensets). Maxwell is the first company to offer dedicated ultracapacitor-based products that provide strong successful genset starts within seconds of loss of power.

Grid power failures are a major concern for power-critical facilities such as hospitals, hotels, data centers and server farms. Maxwell's GSS modules support a variety of gensets, from towables to stationary power systems, and bring a high level of confidence to building operators that gensets will start when needed. While failure-to-start is often battery-related, Maxwell's GSS modules can be installed alongside batteries to provide burst power during cranking. Alternatively, GSS modules can replace batteries entirely, thereby eliminating the most common reason for genset failure-to-start.

Richard Knittel, vice president of technical services of Prime Power Services, a company that provides emergency power supply services and relies on the GSS module, said, "We maintain over 3,000 generators and spend a lot of time and effort maintaining conventional batteries. They are the weakest link in the system. Using Maxwell ultracapacitors on our sites has been a game changer, requiring extremely low maintenance and providing dramatic improvement in cranking performance regardless of ambient temperatures."

The GSS product line consists of BCI group 31 form factor modules that are installed with or in place of batteries for starting standby and backup generators in commercial and industrial buildings. With high power, fast response and long operating lifetimes, ultracapacitors are more durable, more reliable and more efficient than batteries. They provide high-burst starting power to gensets ranging from 50kW to 3.5MW. For National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 110 Type 10 requirements, GSS modules greatly assist in restoring power within 10 seconds of failure. The GSS module reduces starting time and comes with a 10-year warranty with the use of a Maxwell-approved charger.

"Maxwell is taking its success with Engine Start Modules (ESM) for heavy-duty truck engines to standby and backup generators in mission-critical facilities. The GSS module provides unprecedented starting reliability to industries where failure of the generator to start during loss of power can critically impact people or equipment in the building," said Franz Fink, president and CEO of Maxwell Technologies.