Dometic introduces battery-powered auxiliary A/C for daycabs

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Dometic Environmental Corp. has introduced an auxiliary air conditioning system designed to reduce engine idling for daycab and small-sleeper trucks while waiting at shipping terminals and loading docks.

The air conditioner operates from the truck’s batteries and does not require an onboard diesel auxiliary power unit, the company says; instead, it uses common trucking-industry components and installs in four to six hours. The installed cost of the entire system is less than half that of a genset-based APU system, and requires virtually no regular maintenance, according to Dometic.

The package consists of an air conditioning system, a DC-AC inverter, an upsized high-capacity alternator, thermostat control and optional shorepower plug. The air conditioners are offered in two configurations – a 7,000 BTU self-contained unit and a 10,000 BTU split system. With the split system, the condensing unit is mounted outside the truck, and the compressor/evaporator/blower goes inside the cab. Either way, Dometic says, the compact inside units easily can fit between or behind the seats, or in lieu of the passenger-side seat.

The inverter converts the 12V battery output into 115V power to drive the air conditioner. The high-capacity alternator, which replaces the existing engine-mounted alternator, keeps the batteries fully charged whenever the truck is running. The optional shorepower connection can recharge the batteries and run the air conditioner whenever there is an outside AC power source available.

“Dometic’s engineers have worked very hard to develop an efficient and practical solution that eliminates the need for an onboard diesel generator or APU,” says Lou Siegel, senior vice president of marketing and strategic business development for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Dometic. “The result is a less expensive system – in terms of lower capital outlay for the equipment and lower operating and maintenance costs over the long term. Our goal is to provide a solution that will keep drivers comfortable while waiting at terminals without idling their engines, thus complying with state and regional idle-reduction laws and achieving significant fuel savings and reducing wear-and-tear on the engine.”