Maxwell and ISE Research Pen Strategic Development Deal

Ultracapacitor-based energy storage packs developed for hybrid electric vehicles.

Published: 04-Feb-2002

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 4, 2002 -- Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:MXWL - news) announced today that it has entered into a strategic development and supply agreement with ISE Research-ThunderVolt Inc., (ISE-TVI) to collaboratively develop ultracapacitor-based energy storage packs for hybrid electric drive systems for buses, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles and stationary power systems such as fuel cells and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

Maxwell's PowerCache(r) ultracapacitors are high-density energy storage cells that deliver rapid bursts of electric power to provide dynamic range and response in applications ranging from consumer and industrial electronic devices to transportation and power quality systems. ISE-TVI is a leading developer and marketer of advanced electric and hybrid-electric drive systems and energy storage packs for heavy-duty vehicles and stationary power systems.

ISE-TVI's current ThunderPack(tm) energy storage packs integrate 149 large cell ultracapacitors with sophisticated energy management and control circuitry to store and release more than 150 kW of electrical power. Individual packs can be combined in a dual configuration rated at more than 300 kW. Dave Mazaika, ISE-TVI's president, said that ultracapacitors offer a number of significant advantages over batteries in energy storage and power delivery applications.

"Ultracapacitor-based packs are smaller and lighter, have superior power delivery features and can be more cost-effective than battery-based systems, and PowerCache cells' compact form factors allow us considerable flexibility in designing solutions for a wide range of applications," Mazaika said. "Maxwell's ultracapacitors offer a very compelling value proposition, and their ability to meet ISI-TVI's quality, volume and price requirements were critical factors in our selection of PowerCache products.

"PowerCache cells have much longer life -- hundreds of thousands of discharge/recharge cycles compared to as few as 500 to 1,000 cycles for many chemical batteries," Mazaika added. "They are also more efficient in absorbing electrical energy produced by regenerative braking systems, allowing the system to recapture up to 25 percent of the energy required to operate electric or hybrid vehicles, which translates into significantly improved fuel economy and reduced emissions."

Richard Smith, Maxwell's senior vice president for strategic business development, said that the alliance with ISE-TVI reflects Maxwell's commitment to making fully integrated ultracapacitor-based energy storage and power delivery solutions available to the transportation and stationary power markets.

"Auto makers such as General Motors, Honda and Toyota already have announced that they are incorporating ultracapacitors for energy storage and regenerative braking energy recapture in new hybrid cars, trucks and buses, and several power system manufacturers have ultracapacitor-based designs in development, so availability of standard, integrated packs is an essential step toward large-scale production," Smith said. "ISE-TVI is a very innovative company with advanced system integration capabilities that are a key element in our strategy to sustain the proven standard energy storage option ultracapacitors provide in these large, global markets."

ISE-TVI's ThunderPack employs a unique integrated system to equalize and individually monitor the charge levels of each ultracapacitor cell in the pack and is electronically linked to the vehicle control system to optimize overall vehicle energy management. ThunderPack also offers several important safety features, including Reverse Polarity Protect, a "Safe on Disconnect" integrated contactor, and an integrated pre-charge circuit to match battery pack and ThunderPack voltages. ThunderPack is also thermally controlled to keep the ultracapacitor cells within an optimal temperature range.

In fuel cell vehicles and stationary power systems, ThunderPack is used to handle fluctuating power demands, helping to stabilize electrical loads on the principal power generation source. ISE-TVI offers a variety of ThunderPack sizes and configurations for both vehicle and stationary power applications.

ISE Research-ThunderVolt is an industry leader in development of electric, hybrid-electric and fuel cell drive technologies and products for buses, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. ISE-TVI's areas of specialization include onboard power generation, energy storage, power control electronics, electromechanical energy conversion and overall vehicle and system integration.

Maxwell Technologies applies industry-leading capabilities in power and computing to develop and commercialize electronic components and power and computing systems for customers in multiple industries, including transportation, telecommunications, consumer and industrial electronics, medical and aerospace. Maxwell designs, develops and manufactures a family of large and small cell ultracapacitors for applications in power quality assurance, wireless communications, automotive, industrial automation, medical, automatic meter reading and consumer electronics.

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