El Segundo, CA-based Aura Systems is rolling out a new hybrid auxiliary power unit (APU) that uses both battery power and an small diesel-powered motor to allow truck drivers to heat and cool their trucks plus power a variety of appliances without having to idle their truck’s engine.
The AuraGen ICS hybrid APU system, based on Aura’s patented bi-directional power system, provides continuous electric power of up to 5,000 watts of electricity with the APU engine running and 3,000 watts when the APU engine is off, said Mel Gagerman, Aura’s CEO.
At the touch of a button next to the steering wheel, the APU’s engine starts up and produces 5 kW to run the electrical loads and charge up the on-board battery complement. When the APU engine is turned off, the system provides power from an auxiliary battery pack that is sized to meet the operating time required by the customer, Gagerman said.
The system automatically monitors the batteries and when the charge is low, the APU engine automatically turns on and recharges them. Once charged, the engine automatically shuts off again, he said,
“APUs like ours potentially offer major advantages to the owners of long-hauling trucks,” said Gagerman. “With fuel costs around $3 per gallon and idling restrictions growing, now more than ever, the trucking industry needs a solution that saves fuel and reduces pollutants with minimal inputs from the drivers.”