New hybrid idling alternative from Kohler and Bergstrom

Louisville, KY. Bergstrom Inc. and Kohler Power Systems, a division of Kohler Company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show that the companies have joined forces to provide a hybrid auxiliary power system

Louisville, KY. Bergstrom Inc. and Kohler Power Systems, a division of Kohler Company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show that the companies have joined forces to provide a hybrid auxiliary power system. The system combines the battery-driven Bergstrom Nite Plus System with a Kohler DC power unit to provide battery charging to as needed.

When the power levels of the four deep-cycle AGM batteries decrease to low voltage levels, the low-battery indicator is triggered and the Kohler DC power unit begins to recharge the batteries, while keeping the Bergstrom Nite Plus System operating uninterrupted. Should the truck’s batteries also be depleted, the Kohler DC power unit is able to recharge them, with the use of the specified bi-directional separator, and at no risk of overcharging either bank of batteries.

According to the companies, when the system is in the air-conditioning mode, it uses no fuel, as the truck operates solely on the Bergstrom Nite Plus system. In heating mode, it consumes 0.05 gallons per hour. It takes .10 gallons per hour when the hybrid power system is in the recharge mode. The hybrid system is certified to the EPA Tier 2 emissions regulations and is also CARB compliant, except when the system is in recharge mode.

"This truly offers fleets and owner-operators who live on the road, the best of both worlds--a combination of battery power and APU functionality,” said Bill Gordon, director of global marketing & national director of aftermarket for Bergstrom. “Innovating alternative idle-reduction options for today’s Class 8 trucks are critical as OTR drivers try to address tougher emission regulations and fluctuating fuel prices. We’re confident this hybrid power system offers a solid solution."

Stacy Peshkopia, marketing manager for Kohler Power Systems, said the two companies kept the "ideal idle-reduction product" in mind, making sure the hybrid power system runs quietly and requires minimal maintenance. For the DC power unit, Kohler provides a custom sound-attenuated enclosure that keeps the frame-rail mounted power unit operating at 68 dBA in recharge mode.

When the full system is in heating or air-conditioning mode, the sound level doesn’t exceed 50 dBA, Peshkopia noted. Because the Bergstrom Nite Plus system will be used primarily to provide climate control and power to the cab, the DC power unit will be used significantly less than a stand-alone APU, which means longer service and maintenance intervals for the power unit.

The hybrid power system will be available in summer 2009, from both Bergstrom and Kohler Power Systems distributors and dealers. The Bergstrom NITE Plus carries a two-year warranty, and the Kohler DC power unit carries a two-year or 2,000 hour warranty.

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