Webasto unveils fuel-free cab cooling system

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By Todd Dills

The principle behind the latest product offering from Webasto to comply with anti-idling laws and driver comfort is actually “not new,” Reid Landis, marketing project specialist, said at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

The NiteCool TCC-100 is an evaporative cooler, which utilizes the natural temperature decrease that occurs during evaporation to provide alternative climate control for daycab operators forced to shut down while loading, unloading or waiting.

The roof-mounted unit draws warm air from outside the cab, then circulates that air through a precooling chamber, after which it’s further cooled as warm air molecules naturally evaporate water molecules from the unit’s 7-gallon water tank. A blower circulates the more dense, cooler air throughout the cab.

The cooler, which takes about four hours to install, is capable of 600 to 1,600 watts of cooling power – equivalent on the low end to 2047 BTUs, said Don Kanneth, Webasto heavy duty manager. “As the temperature goes up, our power performance, in a dry climate, goes up as well,” Kanneth said.

Landis said that, using a benchmark of 40 percent outside humidity, company tests concluded that at 86 degrees outside, NiteCool could achieve 72.5 degrees in-cab – and at 95 degrees outside, 79.8 degrees in-cab. NiteCool TCC-100 is powered by the truck’s battery and uses minimal electricity, and the 7-gallon water tank must be replenished with every 10 to 20 hours of use. The fan speed, cooling function and on-off switch are operated via an in-cab control module with accompanying remote control.