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Maxwell Technologies Inc., a San Diego-headquartered developer of energy storage and power delivery solutions, has obtained a non-exclusive worldwide license from Enercon GmbH of Aurich, Germany, for a patent covering the use of ultracapacitors in wind energy systems, including their use as backup power source for wind turbine blade pitch systems.

Blade pitch systems enhance the consistency of wind turbines' energy output by "trimming" turbine blades to compensate for changes in wind velocity, Maxwell explains, and backup power allows for an orderly shutdown in the event of interruption of the primary power source. Ultracapacitors' long operational life and reliable performance in low temperature environments reduce maintenance and replacement costs associated with battery-based backup power systems.

The license clears the way for Maxwell to market its BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor products to any wind turbine or blade pitch system manufacturer that wants to incorporate the technology into its products, says Richard Balanson, Maxwell's president and chief executive officer.

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