Kenworth launches battery-driven APU

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Kenworth announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show Wednesday, March 21, that the company’s Clean Power idling solution will be available as a factory-installed option on the T660 72-inch Aerocab tractor this June.

Anticipating the 2008 end of the California idling law’s sleeper-berth exemption and the notion that engine-driven auxiliary power units must be outfitted with diesel particulate filters, Kenworth engineers designed Clean Power as a deep cycle battery-powered system with recharging capability. Chief Engineer Mike Dozier said that with only four hours of driving, the batteries would be fully charged and capable of powering auxiliary climate-control systems for 10 hours.

A fuel-fired heater provides heat in the fully integrated system, which also is capable of “hotel loads” of electricity, said Dozier, who added the company has made strides in efficiency by using LEDs in place of typical lights and developing a special insulation package.

“Customers with high idling time may receive as much as an 8 percent boost in fuel economy by not idling, thanks to Kenworth Clean Power,” said Dozier. “LED lighting has a very low power draw and uses an estimated 35 percent less energy than traditional lighting. The insulation package provides nearly a 40 percent improvement in thermal performance compared to standard insulation packages.”

Kenworth General Manager Bob Christensen also outlined new medium-duty offerings for 2007, including new Class 6 and Class 7 models T270 and T370, and the cabover service model K260, which joins the K360 for inner-city applications. A diesel-electric hybrid version of the T270 would begin large-scale production in 2008, Christensen said.