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Idle Reduction

There are numerous technologies being used to allow a driver to have climate control, as well as power to run onboard electrical equipment such as computers, video games, and appliances, without having to idle his truck engine to do this. Some of these alternatives are presented here.

IdleAire opens two new locations

IdleAire Technologies Corp has opened two new locations, the 125th and 126th in its network, and drivers set a new usage record of the company's ATE Advanced Travel Center Electrification system of 1.7 million hours for the month of July. Lynn Youngs, IdleAire chief operating officer, said cumulative driver usage was now approaching 20 million hours.

Youngs said the newest IdleAire Advanced Travel Center Electrification (ATE) installations are at TravelCenters of America locations on Interstate 5 in Redding CA and on I-80 in Lamar PA. Both have 57 parking spaces. Additional locations are under construction, Youngs said.

Oasis offers refuge from wasteful idling

Firefly Energy Inc has announced that the first pre-production versions of its BCI Group 31 truck battery — to be marketed under the new name Oasis — will be available for review and testing during the first quarter of 2008.

The company said its Oasis battery will primarily be used when the truck's diesel engine is turned off, and provide up to 50 percent longer run-times when powering accessories that collectively make up a truck's “hotel loads.”

This battery will have a sealed valve-regulated design. The primary characteristic of the first Firefly Energy lead acid battery is the inclusion of a high surface area, non-corrodible and lightweight carbon foam material. Firefly Energy's 3D carbon foam unleashes the high power potential of lead acid chemistry which was impossible to achieve in the past. This technology not only reduces the lead content making the batteries smaller and lighter, but also enables faster, deeper and more reliable discharges and recharges. This significantly extends the battery's life, and it makes it more environmentally friendly and less expensive than lithium and nickel battery chemistries.

The Oasis battery will offer continuous power through the discharge process, a fast recharge to 100 percent capacity, excellent vibration resistance and greater cold-starting capabilities. Typical battery life is extended since sulfation is reduced. When tested in cold-weather extremes at minus 20° C, the batteries were capable of delivering above 65 percent of their rated “room temperature” capacity compared with 20 percent or less for standard Group 31 batteries.

Access for more details.

Auxiliary cab heaters save on fuel

Teleflex Power Systems, a division of Teleflex Inc, has launched a new line of advanced auxiliary cab heaters for heavy-duty trucks. Proheat Air Heaters help truck drivers and fleets significantly reduce engine idling fuel consumption while helping comply with anti-idling regulations.

This diesel-powered air heater supplies heat for in-cab driver comfort during cold weather. Available in either 2- or 4-kilowatt models, the heater reduces fuel consumption by up to 95 percent compared with engine idling, while supplying heat more quietly and efficiently.

Proheat Air includes a remotely mounted control panel with digital display for easy set-up and control of the heater from inside the truck cab. The control panel incorporates advanced timers that allow drivers to start Proheat Air at a specific time so the truck is warm when they arrive. It also allows drivers to specify an ambient temperature inside the cab.

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Cummins offers Clean Idle Certified engines

Cummins Inc. is offering Clean Idle Certified on-highway engines, meeting the new California Air Resources Board's (CARB) idle reduction regulation. The Cummins full lineup of on-highway engines — including the ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC, and ISB — meet this new regulation by generating less than 30-g/hour nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at idle.

Effective immediately, Cummins customers can now specify a 50-state Clean Idle Certified engine option when ordering a new vehicle. In addition, customers now also have the option, through their local Cummins distributor, to update existing 2007 engines to meet the 50-state Clean Idle Certified status.

Cummins' ability to offer Clean Idle engines complements and supports other available electronic engine features such as the programmable idle shutdown timer. Together these features help reduce a customer's idle time and fuel consumption, thus only allowing idling for those periods where a driver needs cab comfort while logged out of service.

Anti-idling system can deliver 8,000 Btu

Sun Power Technologies announces the launch of its self-contained 12-volt anti-idling system. This system is designed to deliver 8,000 Btu of cooling capacity per hour for 8-12 hours without using any of the truck's power sources.

The heart of the design is the patented DC Airco 12-volt air conditioner that draws a maximum current of 50 amps at full output, making it possible to run the AC for 8-12 hours when coupled to the Sun Power Technologies fully integrated battery system. The battery system is engineered to recharge using the standard truck alternator through an electronic charge circuit to ensure proper charge algorithms. As an added feature, the Sun Power Technologies battery box also offers an emergency start circuit that enables the auxiliary batteries to be paralleled to the cranking batteries when needed, virtually eliminating jump starts.

This anti-idling system can be installed on any make or model of tractor in approximately five hours.

For more information, visit

Auxiliary AC units are clean air-compliant

Dometic Environmental Corp is showcasing its new battery-powered auxiliary air-conditioning systems that are 100 percent compliant with the clean-air requirements of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Dometic's system runs on 12-volt power from a bank of absorbed glass mat (AGM) Group 31 batteries, with a 2,000 watt DC-AC inverter that converts the battery output to 115-volt power to run the air-conditioner. The turnkey package also includes a high-capacity alternator with external regulator, which is designed for rapid recharging of the batteries.

The auxiliary air-conditioning systems are offered in 7,000- and 10,000-Btu capacities. The product line includes self-contained package units and split systems with an external condensing unit. The patented split systems use reusable refrigerant linesets with quick-connect fittings. Units are factory-precharged with refrigerant for automatic charging to the correct pressure when the linesets are connected. No special tools are required.

E-mail Lou Siegel at [email protected] for complete details.

Webasto creates website for idle reduction

Webasto's website — (LEaP) — is an educational and informational single point-of-reference database of idle reduction information and educational resources.

LEaP stands for “lowering emissions and particulates.”

The website combines some of the best information available, particularly on the difficult-to-understand, difficult-to-track status of many different idling laws and regulations from states and local municipalities across the United States.

There is also information on idle reduction rebate programs, a list of environmentally conscious legislators, and a section on idling myths and facts.

Webasto, a developer of idle reduction technologies, uses a green frog for its LEaP mascot. It was chosen as a metaphor for environmental well-being because in nature, the health of frog populations is a direct reflection of the cleanliness of their environment.

Idle Free provides two power systems

Idle Free Systems' Reefer Link System connects a truck and trailer together electrically to provide the driver multiple options for power AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery power, TRU (transportation refrigerator unit), and shore power.

When the truck is moving, the Reefer Link System stores the truck's alternator's energy in an AGM battery bank. When the truck is not moving, the driver has the option of using the stored AGM battery power, the TRU, or shore power as a power source.

Power to operate a heating system or an air-conditioning system is supplied by AGM batteries, shore power, or the transportation refrigerator unit.

Energy is controlled and regulated using a Xantrex 2,000-watt inverter/charger. This inverter/charger has a built-in battery charger, as well as an automatic transfer switch (shore power) to use electricity.

The Reefer Link System enables the driver to use the transportation refrigerator unit's alternator to run the truck's 12-volt systems or to charge the truck's batteries (starter) and the AGM battery bank.

The Reefer Link System also enables the driver to use the truck's alternator to run the transportation refrigerator unit and automatically charge the AGM battery bank whenever the truck is moving.

Also available is the firm's Idle Free Hybrid System, which connects the truck's charge circuit to a secondary AGM battery bank whenever the truck's engine is running.

When the truck is moving, the Idle Free Hybrid System stores the truck's alternator's energy in an AGM battery bank under the bunk. When the truck is not moving, the driver has the option of using the stored AGM battery power or shore power to run idle elimination devices.

Visit for complete information.

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