Advanced Starting System

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Kenworth and Peterbilt have introduced advanced technology to protect against battery drainage. And Kenworth offers a new inverter/charger option for easier battery recharging while parked.

The Maxwell ESM ultracapacitor familyThe ultracapacitor-based Maxwell Engine Start Module (ESM) is a factory-installed option for new Kenworth T680s and T880s and Peterbilt Models 579 and  567. The module provides dedicated power to start the truck and frees the truck’s standard batteries to focus on powering accessory devices, such as a laptop, microwave, refrigerator and television electronics, in addition to the truck’s electronics and lights. The ESM is designed to start an engine in temperatures ranging from -40 C or F (they’re equal at that point) to +65 C or 149  F, says Maxwell, even when the batteries have low voltage.

The ultracapacitor replaces one traditional battery – reducing weight by up to 60 lb.

Maxwell-optioned trucks are in production now.

Also in production is Kenworth’s new, enhanced 1800-watt inverter that provides the convenience of AC power in the sleeper. Inverters use AC power versus DC to operate appliances, entertainment systems, and other devices in the sleeper. It also offers charging capability.

The inverter is mounted on the rear wall in the sleeper storage compartment, which provides easy access to the toolbox and additional outlets through the toolbox door. The new inverter is optional for the Kenworth Idle Management System with the T680 76-in. sleeper, and charges the starter and idle-management system batteries when plugged into shore power.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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