Ioxus reports success with uSTART battery fleet test

Updated Feb 24, 2017

Following a year of testing with a major truck fleet Ioxus reports that its uSTART battery support system has been shown to dramatically improve battery life.The uSTART module, which was developed for Class 3 – 6 trucks, was tested in 200 units. It directly replaces one of the Standard SLI group 31 batteries, and is expected to last the life of the truck. Ioxus reports that uSTART reduces the number of batteries a truck would require through its 15 year life from 30 to 5.

“For a large fleet this would replace thousands of lead acid batteries saving millions of dollars and would eliminate thousands of tons of lead from the environment,” Ioxus states in its press release.

The uSTART module works by monitoring and supporting the vehicle’s electrical bus, providing and absorbing power when required or available. Using just batteries can result in a wide range of results depending on load, age, temperature and current state of charge. As a start is initiated, terminal voltage drops and the battery will discharge. The lower the voltage drops, the more current has to be supplied, further stressing the battery and starter.

In typical delivery operations the battery cannot recover from the previous cycle in the time between stops (charge acceptance). This results in batteries frequently operating at a low state of charge (SOC) which accelerates battery wear and increases the functional resistance (ESR) of the battery, lowering the voltage further under load.

uSTART is designed to eliminate voltage cut-off problems and helps the battery maintain a high state of charge by preventing it from cycling, extending life, and makes the starting events predictable and repeatable. The voltage acceptance of the ultracapacitor based module allows for rapid, full recharge of the system from the alternator, being ready with enough energy for the next stop/start event within 15-30 seconds.

While the battery can function in a problematic environment, the starter and other electrical components pay the price. Every day, on every cycle, the combination of low SOC and high ESR leads to starters that must spin longer on each crank and require more current, resulting in battery and starter lives that are significantly reduced. uSTART solves this by supporting the electrical bus and maintains a healthy voltage, even during cold cranking loads, for all of the vehicle components.

In the one year field trial, Ioxus uSTART battery support systems were installed in multiple platforms of class 3 – 6 delivery trucks.  The trucks experience up to 250 stops per day where the engine is turned off, but all of the electrical loads are still present. With the uSTART installed, an immediate improvement in start time was noticeable; typical start times are reduced by up to one second vs. a healthy pair of batteries. Reduced starting time is a result of the starter receiving proper voltage and current provided by the uSTART module. uSTART eliminates voltage drop ensuring a clean and brisk crank every time. Ioxus reports that several benefits were experienced and documented during the test:

  • Quicker start times, up to 1 second faster
  • No roadside jumpstarts required
  • Higher average state of charge of the batteries at end of test vs. beginning
  • Better state of health of the batteries at end of the test vs. beginning

The uSTART battery support module installs like a battery and is a drop-in replacement for one of the batteries in a class 3 – 6 truck.  No special wiring or installation variation is required.

“In addition to rapid payback and reducing lead from the environment, the Ioxus uSTART battery support system dramatically extends the life of the starter by ensuring the starter receives the right voltage and current on every engine crank, saving even more time and money by keeping the delivery truck rolling,” said Jeff Colton, Ioxus vice-president of sales. “With the proper voltage supplied to the starter, even an old truck starts like new.”

For more information about the Ioxus uSTART module, please email Ioxus at [email protected] or call them at 1-877-751-4222.