Maxwell Technologies

Company Background

Maxwell Technologies Inc. was founded in 1965 and is located in San Diego, CA.  Maxwell Technologies makes ultracapacitors and other products that store energy and deliver power.  The ultracapacitors are postage stamp-sized cells that are able to provide quick bursts of energy to meet power demands, then recharge by capturing excess power that would otherwise be lost. Its ultracapacitors are used to provide additional power for hybrid cars, electric trains, and semi-trucks, as well as in energy grid, solid-state memory, and other applications that need fast, reliable power. Maxwell also makes high-voltage capacitors that protect power grid systems and radiation-shielded microelectronics for satellites and spacecraft.  Maxwell's ultracapacitors are used in wind turbine blade-pitch systems to regulate voltage to the power grid. In data centers, the products provide the energy between power failures and the initiation of backup power systems such as diesel generators and fuel cells (1).

Maxwell Technologies is researching and developing avenues to use graphene in ultracapacitors.  The company’s ultracapacitor multi-cell modules and cells deliver safe and durable power solutions for markets such as telecommunications, transportation, industrial electronics and consumer electronics. The company’s radiation-mitigated microelectronic products such as single board computers, memory modules and power modules integrate commercial silicon for high reliability and high performance in aerospace applications (2).

Suppliers and Buyers

Customers outside the US account for more than 80% of sales. Nearly half of its sales come from China and Germany. Maxwell has significant operations in Switzerland and the US (in San Diego); it is opening another, larger US production facility in Arizona. The company also has sales offices in China, Germany, and the UK. In addition to direct sales, Maxwell sells through distributors that include Digi-Key, TTI (and its Mouser Electronics unit), Tecate Group, RUTRONIK and Bainacap (1). 

Maxwell Technologies’ ultracapacitors were chosen by Bombardier Transportation, a leading producer of rail vehicles and rail transportation equipment, systems and services, as the energy storage element of the BOMBARDIER EnerGstor® braking energy recuperation system (5).

Maxwell continues to seek opportunities in China, its largest market, where it has a contract manufacturing arrangements with Belton Technology Group and Tianjin Lishen Battery. Maxwell collaborates with Chinese companies to expand its presence in that burgeoning market, supplying ultracapacitor electrode materials to Shanghai Sanjui Electric Equipment and Yeong-Long Technologies (1).

Strategic Partnerships

As part of a multi-party partnership led by the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute, €325,000 will be awarded to Maxwell Technologies. The European Union has funded the research through its Seventh Framework Program (2).

ADA Technologies, Inc. received a $70,000 contract from the U.S. Army for Phase I research into the development of advanced electrochemical ultracapacitor systems for use in hybrid electronic vehicles (HEVs) for high power military applications. ADA Technologies work will be performed in partnership with Maxwell Technologies that commercially provides of ultracapacitors for HEV applications (4).

Innovation and Technology

Maxwell’s primary focus is on ultracapacitors, energy storage devices that are characterized by high power density, long operational life, the ability to charge and discharge very rapidly, and reliable performance at extreme temperatures (3).

Maxwell Technologies utilizes a zero-solvent, in-house production method along with a formulation of conductive and activated carbons and other substances to fabricate ultracapacitor electrodes for major ultracapacitor products (2).

Products

  • PC10 Series
  • HC Series
  • D Cell Series
  • K2 Series
  • 16 Volt Small Modules
  • 16 Volt Large Modules
  • 48 Volt Modules
  • 56 Volt UPS Modules
  • 75 Volt Power Modules
  • 125 Volt Transportation Modules
  • 160 Volt Module
  • Engine Start Module
  • Single Board Computer for Space
  • Amplifiers for Space
  • Comparators for Space
  • A to D Converters for Space
  • D to A Converters for Space
  • Memories for Space
  • Switches & Multiplexers for Space
  • Nuclear Event Detectors for Space
  • Interface Logic for Space
  • MV Capacitors & Dividers
  • Grading Capacitors
  • Coupling Capacitors
  • GIS Capacitors
  • Capacitive Voltage Dividers
  • Specialty Capacitors (3).

Sources

  1. Hoover’s Inc. (2013). “Maxwell Technology, Inc.” Retrieved on October 11, 2013.
  2. AZoNano (2011, December 2). “Maxwell Technologies to Receive Funds to Study Use of Graphene in Ultracapacitors.” Retrieved on October 13, 2013 from www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=23878
  3. Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (2013). “Maxwell Technologies Products.” Retrieved on October 13, 2013 from www.maxwell.com/products
  4. Nanowerk (2011, February 7).  “ADA Technologies Awarded $70k Contract to Develop Advanced Electrochemical Ultracapacitors for Military Hybrid Electronic Vehicles.” Retrieved on October 13, 2013 from http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=20030.php
  5. Nanowerk (2012, January 21). “Bombardier Selects Maxwell Technologies' Ultracapacitors for Innovative Rail Transit Braking Energy Recuperation System.” Retrieved on October 13, 2013 from www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=24029.php