LOUISVILLE, KY. Carrier Transicold is partnering with Teleflex to bring a new auxiliary power unit (APU) system to market this year for heavy-duty commercial trucks.
The new ComfortPro – built by Teleflex and marketed, installed, and serviced by Carrier’s dealer network – is an all-in-one APU that heats and cools the cab, provides in-cab power to appliances, helps warm up the engine, and charges the truck’s battery.
The ComfortPro APU is powered by a small Kubota diesel engine, which consumes about 0.2 gallons of diesel per hour, yet can also be “plugged in” to shore power at a truckstop or warehouse so the APU engine doesn’t need to be used, said Ignacio Aguerrevere, Carrier’s director of marketing, during a press conference here at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
“The ComfortPro incorporates the Deltek hybrid diesel-electric generator system used in our new Vector 1800 MT reefer unit, so there are fewer moving parts,” he said. The ComfortPro, available now to the trucking market, will be offered as an aftermarket upgrade through Carrier’s dealer network, Aguerrevere said.
Carrier dealer representatives at the press conference said the cost to purchase and install a ComfortPro may start at around $8,500, though that number can fall as sales volume rises.
Aguerrevere noted that the potential fuel savings from using an APU versus idling the truck’s engine should offer fleets a payback in roughly 1 ½ years. He said that recent TMC studies indicate the average long-haul truck idles for roughly 2,000 hours a year, consuming 1.2 gallons of diesel fuel per hour. At $2.50 per gallon – the current price of diesel – that level of idling costs a truck owner $6,000 per year per truck.
Since the ComfortPro uses much less fuel to operate, a fleet should be able to recover 85% of the money lost to fuel costs alone from idling, he said. “That doesn’t include the savings from less wear and tear on the truck’s engines, avoiding fines for idling …in restricted areas, and the driver comfort benefits from less noise and vibration from not having to operate the truck’s engine to power sleeper amenities.”