No engine necessary

Recent testing at Peterbilt’s Texas headquarters demonstrated how a Delphi solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) auxiliary power unit (APU) can provide power for a Peterbilt Model 386’s “hotel” load with the truck’s diesel engine turned off

Recent testing at Peterbilt’s Texas headquarters demonstrated how a Delphi solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) auxiliary power unit (APU) can provide power for a Peterbilt Model 386’s “hotel” load with the truck’s diesel engine turned off, the companies announced today.

According to the companies, Delphi’s SOFC technology converts chemical energy in conventional fuels—including natural gas, diesel, bio-diesel, propane and gasoline-- into electrical power without combustion, emitting no emissions while addressing anti-idling legislation, noise and fuel consumption concerns. In addition, the SOFC operates quietly and more efficiently than traditional internal combustion engines.

The test replicated a typical trucker’s day, the companies said, bringing the APU to operating temperature with the truck’s main engine running, then turning off the main engine, simulating the beginning of a rest period. During the rest period, the APU powered the truck’s electrical loads, such as the air conditioner and radio, while charging the truck’s battery.

After 10 hours, the truck’s main engine was restarted to simulate beginning the next day’s drive. Throughout the duration of the test, the SOFC APU provided an average of 800 watts of electricity to the truck, the companies said.

“The SOFC system provides a technologically-advanced solution to meet anti-idle requirements while surpassing expectations for reduced emissions, noise and fuel consumption,” said Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer. “This system has the potential to revolutionize future APUs by setting new benchmarks for performance and ease of operation with no adverse effects on the environment.”

View more Fleet Owner news relating to auxiliary power unit (APU) products, technologies and other APU industry developments
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