EMP’s Advanced Products Onboard Innovative Hybrid Hauler

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ESCANABA, Mich. – When Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) partnered with Sunline Transit to produce a hybrid class 8 truck, they called on Engineered Machined Products, Inc. to keep things cool. The Peterbilt Hybrid 385, equipped in part with EMP advanced technologies, recently made a crosscountry trip from California to Washington, D.C..

The ultimate goal of the program is to demonstrate the viability of a fuel cell powered class 8 truck, and the first step was to install a fuel cell on a truck and see how it performs. To make use of the power available from the fuel cell, the components normally driven by belts from the front of the engine were removed and advanced electronically controlled components from EMP were fitted. EMP’s components are in production and include diesel grade electric water pumps, valves and fans. EMP products mounted on the hybrid hauler are:

  • (8) EMP “diesel grade” 11″ Electric Fans mounted to a custom-fabricated shroud to keep air moving through the radiator.
  • EMP Electric Water Pump to circulate coolant at 80 gallons per minute.
  • EMP Advanced Electronic Thermostat to control engine engine temperature and an additional electric fan used on the HVAC condenser.
  • EMP Component Controllers and an EMP System Controller to keep fan and pump speeds at optimum levels.

“By electrifying the mechanically driven components, we saw 325 horsepower at the rear wheels on the dyno. To get those numbers from a 330 horsepower engine is phenomenal, considering a typical mechanical fan alone can draw up to 35 hp from a diesel engine” noted Michael Lasecki, a Senior Product Development Engineer for EMP. Lasecki added “having an internationally respected organization like SwRI confirm EMP’s claims that a truck can be efficiently cooled with electrically powered components has increased interest in our electric products, and is leading to additional programs.”

With EMP’s advanced thermal products on board, the truck achieved a 13 percent improvement in fuel economy during vehicle dynomometer testing on a heavy-duty urban dynomometer driving schedule. It is scheduled to remain in service and continue on-highway testing with Sun Line Transit through the summer where daytime temperatures can exceed 120F. To produce electric power for the cooling system, SwRI installed two 10 kW Hydrogenics HyPM 10 hydrogen-fueled PEM units behind the cab of the truck to serve as an APU. The APU is capable of producing 20 kW at 42 volts, though the truck will normally only use around 7 kW. Ultimately the goal is to fit a diesel reformer on the truck to convert diesel fuel into hydrogen, eliminating the need to carry a supply of the highly pressurized gas. In the meantime the truck is equipped with a Dynatek 5,000 psi hydrogen storage tank. The project is being funded by the U.S. Army’s National Automotive Center.

SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization based in San Antonio, Texas with more than 2,900 employees and an annual research volume of more than $399 million. Engineered Machined Products, Inc. is a leader in the engineering and manufacturing of advanced thermal management and oil management technologies. To learn more about EMP and their products, visit www.emp-corp.com or call Paul Harvey at 906.786.8404.