Manufacturers of idle-reduction systems have begun combining their strengths to create solutions that meet user needs across a wider spectrum of applications. It’s a trend likely to increase with time. Last February, for example, Bergstrom, Inc. and Kohler Power Systems announced that the companies had joined forces to offer a “hybrid” idle-reduction system.
“We have partnered with Bergstrom to create a new hybrid power system,” said Sean Kenefick, sales manager for Kohler. “Basically, it pairs the new battery-driven NITE Plus system from Bergstrom, which is 30% more powerful but has the same footprint as the original NITE system, with Kohler’s 3APU power unit. The Bergstrom system manages the heating and cooling while the Kohler unit recharges the batteries. The only time that the system is not CARB-approved is when the battery charger is running, but we are working now to get full system approval.
“ If a truck is parked with a full battery charge,: he continued, “operators can get up to ten hours of AC before needing to recharge. We believe this technology has the ability to be a ‘game-changer.’ It addresses the problems associated with battery-only systems as well as those with diesel-powered systems.”
Earlier this year, Espar Heater Systems also inked a new partnership with a company called Energy Xtreme, which manufactures capacitor power packs already in use in law enforcement vehicles and other applications to provide engine-off power to run auxiliary systems. According to Espar, their heater units will now be paired with Energy Xtreme’s power packs to provide zero-emissions power for heating and hotel loads that is not diesel-fired or battery-based.
Red Dot, a long-time supplier of heating and air conditioning systems for heavy equipment and Indel B of Italy recently announced a new partnership of their own as well. Red Dot has begun distributing the Sleeping Well 12-volt, battery-powered auxiliary air conditioning systems from Indel B for commercial trucks and tractors. There are two models, the wall-mounted Arctic 2000 for sleeper-equipped tractors and the roof-mounted OBLO for straight trucks and other applications. Both units are CARB-compliant and EPA SmartWay approved and sold as complete installation kits for all makes of commercial vehicles.
“If you want to be a solution provider for customers today, you have to deliver systems that are reliable, durable and efficient and you have to have a service network to support them,” noted Dwayne Cowan, APU product manager for Thermo King, a business unit of Ingersoll-Rand.
“That means you have to keep innovating and improving all the time,” he added. “ There is just not a lot of profit in trucking; it is a tough market out there. You have to work all the time to make sure you have the right products to meet your customers’ needs.”