Thermo King’s TriPac provides anti-idling solution

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Thermo King recently launched the TriPac Auxiliary Heating/Cooling Temperature Management System designed to eliminate unnecessary truck idling, keep drivers comfortable and, most importantly, save money.

The system is comprised of a combination of components that provide sleeper cab heating and air conditioning, truck battery charging, accessory power and truck engine block heating. A Thermo King two-cylinder diesel engine powers an air conditioning compressor and a 12-volt alternator, both of which are the belt-driven “automotive” style. These components power the air-conditioning system, keep the truck batteries charged and provide tractor engine heat. The truck engine block is heated by incorporating the engine coolant systems between TriPac and the truck engine: Thermo King says this approach is effective because the engines warm each other while running, to ensure easy starting in all climates.

Cab heating is provided via a compact fuel-fired heater, and accessory power is delivered to the cab by providing 12 VDC. If 120 VAC is required, an optional 12-VDC to 120-VAC inverter can be provided. These components all are incorporated via a programmable microprocessor. The TriPac control panel is backlit and mounts in the sleeper compartment for easy operation. The programmable features allow the dealer to set control parameters and optimize the operation of the TriPac system for customers, such as adjusting the limits for battery charging.

Because of the modular component design, TriPac can be installed in a variety of truck models and configurations: The engine assembly or “APU” is mounted on the truck frame rails, the air-conditioning evaporator and fuel-fired heater are installed under the sleeper bunk, the condenser is installed on the rear cab wall, and the control panel is mounted on an interior wall of the sleeper. Ducting for the heat and air conditioning also is flexible; it can be routed directly to the cab or integrated with existing air distribution ducting.

According to the company, TriPac is differentiated by the use of a fuel-fired heater and start/stop technology to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. In cool climates, the TriPac engine will operate only if battery charging or engine block heating is required; if not, only the fuel-fired heater will operate to warm the cab while consuming minimal fuel. When battery charging and block heat are necessary, TriPac can start automatically to address and satisfy the need, and then shut down to save fuel.

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