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Mack's power system uses batteries to bring need for truck idling to a halt

Truck operators no longer need to idle their truck engine to run their televisions and microwaves, or to heat and air-condition their sleepers, thanks to the Idle Free Hybrid System, now available as an option from Mack Trucks Inc. This non-polluting anti-idling system uses battery power to provide reliable electrical power and to save fuel.

The system uses a bank of absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries to provide stored electrical power for heating, air-conditioning, and amenities such as TV or microwave. The sealed AGM batteries can be safely housed inside the truck. The bank of five AGM batteries is stored under the sleeper's bunk.

Batteries can be recharged three ways: by the truck's alternator when the engine is running; through a shore power connection when the vehicle is stopped; or through a connection to the reefer unit for tractors hauling refrigerated trailers. When the truck is not moving, the driver can use battery power or shore power to run heating, air-conditioning, and amenities. The system provides either 12- or 120-volt power.

Idle Free uses a Xantrex Prosine 2000W inverter/charger to control and regulate electrical power, as well as to charge both the Idle Free batteries and the truck's batteries. Mack's complete climate control package includes a Webasto diesel-fired heater and a Dometic HVAC unit. The Odyssey AGM 31 batteries can run the AC for 10 hours with an outside air temperature of 90° F.

E-mail John Walsh at [email protected] for further information.

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