Truck News


Worried about ’07?

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Eaton revealed that it is neither shaken nor stirred over the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) looming '007 deadline that will require manufacturers to meet strict emissio...

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Eaton revealed that it is neither shaken nor stirred over the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) looming ‘007 deadline that will require manufacturers to meet strict emissions requirements.

The company released a wide variety of product information, including diesel exhaust aftertreatment and lube technology, as well as other new technologies, at an exclusive James Bond-themed press event held in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Aftertreatment system

Eaton is currently working on a diesel exhaust aftertreatment technology designed to meet the EPA’s 2010 emission standards. Having gone through three years of testing, Eaton has now installed a prototype system for testing in a heavy-duty truck.

Vishal Singh, marketing and business development manager for new technologies at Eaton’s Truck business unit, said the aftertreatment system uses a unique combination of fuel reformer catalyst with doser, Selective Catalytic Reduction catalyst (SCR) and Lean NOx Trap (LNT) developed over the last few years at the Eaton Innovation Center in Southfield, Mich.

“This is not a ‘me too’ technology,” Singh said, as he explained Eaton’s approach. “We have proposed a novel aftertreatment system that combines a fuel dosing unit, fuel reformer catalyst, a LNT catalyst, and a SCR catalyst in series to scrub NOx from the system. While most SCR systems being proposed today use urea as a means of carrying the ammonia needed to catalyze the NOx, Eaton’s system generates its own on-board ammonia. The result is a cost-effective system that meets EPA requirements and eliminates the need for urea distribution and infrastructure or on-board urea tanks.”

The fuel reformer generates an optimal mixture of reformate gases to improve LNT regeneration efficiency.

During “lean” exhaust conditions, the LNT stores NOx. During rich exhaust conditions (LNT regeneration), the LNT converts stored NOx to nitrogen and produces ammonia.

This ammonia is stored by the downstream SCR catalyst and is used to convert remaining NOx that slips past the LNT.

NOx reduction takes place in two stages once by the LNT and second time by the SCR catalyst.

“Essentially, Eaton has taken two NOx-reducing technologies, packaged them in a system that allows them to work together, and taken advantage of a naturally occurring chemical reaction to eliminate a major cost and logistics hurdle that exists for urea-based systems,” Singh said.

Singh stressed that much work remains to be done in the next three-and-a-half years to bring this technology to market in time to meet EPA 2010 emissions regulations.

Eaton is continuing to work with global engine manufacturers and truck makers to identify opportunities for aftertreatment modeling, installation and testing. More extensive vehicle testing will begin in the third quarter of 2006.

Hydraulic hybrids

The EPA recently unveiled the first-ever series hydraulic hybrid diesel urban delivery vehicle, which aims to provide dramatic improvements in fuel economy and in emission reductions.

The development of the hydraulic hybrid is the result of a partnership between the EPA, the US Army, UPS, International and Eaton.

The EPA and UPS plan to evaluate the vehicle’s fuel economy performance and emissions during a series of tests in 2006. In laboratory testing, the EPA’s patented hydraulic hybrid diesel technology achieved a 60% to 70% improvement in fuel economy and more than a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to a conventional UPS vehicle, according to the agency.

“EPA and our partners are not just delivering packages with this UPS truck; we are delivering environmental benefits to the American people,” said Stephen Johnson, EPA administrator. “We are doing what is good for our environment, good for our economy, and good for our nation’s energy security.”

The EPA estimated that when manufactured in high volume, the added costs of the hybrid components could be recouped in less than three years through lower fuel and brake maintenance costs.

In the series hydraulic hybrid diesel, a high-efficiency diesel engine is combined with a unique hydraulic propulsion system, replacing the conventional drivetrain and transmission.

The vehicle uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles.

Eaton has been working with the EPA since October 2001 under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement involving hydraulic hybrid systems.

As part of the company’s role in designing and developing hybrid technologies, Eaton engineers have been co-located at EPA’s Ann Arbor, Mich. facility.

Eaton is also working on a number of other hybrid vehicle initiatives with UPS, International and others.

Hybrid electric power system

Eaton has also begun development of a hybrid electric power system for the heavy-duty commercial vehicle market.

The heavy-duty system will be similar in design and will share many of the same components as Eaton’s medium-duty hybrid electric system built for Class 4-7 vehicles, but will be adapted for Class 8 vehicles with on-highway applications.

Eaton says fleets using the heavy-duty hybrid system will experience reduced fuel consumption both while driving and when parked.

Officials say recent independent test results have shown a 5-7% savings versus a conventional Class 8 vehicle while driving, and a savings of one gallon per hour when parked.

Those savings equate to about $9,500 a truck per year in normal operation, resulting in cost savings for a typical truckload carrier with 1,000 power units to $9.5 million per year.

The idle reduction mode in Eaton’s heavy-duty hybrid system will enable fleets to save fuel, reduce emissions and comply with rapidly expanding local anti-idling laws, company officials say.

The system’s batteries power the heating, air conditioning, and vehicle electrical systems while the engine is off.

When the idle reduction mode is active, engine operation is limited to battery charging, an automatically controlled process that will take about five minutes per hour.

In the proposed system design, a proprietary feature minimizes engine vibration during start-up and shut-down during the recharge periods, allowing the driver to rest without interruption.

Eaton’s heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be built using an automated manual transmission with a parallel-type “direct” hybrid system, incorporating an electric motor/generator located between the output of an automated clutch and the input to a Fuller UltraShift transmission. One feature of this system will be its ability to recover energy normally lost during braking and store the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, this stored energy is used to improve vehicle performance, operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed, or operate with electric power only.

Kevin Beaty, manager, Eaton Hybrid Power Systems says Eaton’s heavy hybrid power system was currently in the testing and development phases, and that they are working with truck and engine makers and select fleets to field prototypes for evaluation.

Eaton says the system is expected to be available well before 2010, and could help meet the latest EPA emissions regulations scheduled to be enforced at that time.

UltraShift LEP

Eaton has introduced the Fuller UltraShift LEP (Linehaul Efficient Performance), the newest addition to the UltraShift family of automated transmissions.

The UltraShift LEP transmission is designed with optimized shift calibrations to keep engine RPMs low and in the best “fuel-island” while maintaining performance and drivability.

Created to work in select engine families, this optimized shift calibration is obtained by computer-controlled shifts within a relatively tight window of close steps unique to that family.

These shifts enable the LEP transmission to stay within the engine’s fuel map contour for maximum efficiency and performance.

The LEP features 13 forward speeds and three reverse ratios with overall ratio coverage of 14.25:1.

Specifically designed for on-highway use, the UltraShift LEP offers torque capacity coverage up to 1,750 lb.-ft. (in the top two gears) and an 80,000 gross combined weight at cruise speeds up to 65 mph.

Eaton is working with truck and engine makers to tune the UltraShift LEP specifically to the unique operating characteristics of each engine for the most efficient match-up.

“Designed around customer requests for a transmission with improved efficiency and potentially improved fuel economy, the UltraShift LEP is the first of its kind,” said Scott Steurer, product line manager for heavy-duty transmission – performance/vocational. “Unlike other transmissions in its class, the LEP’s software is custom-calibrated for each approved engine, allowing us to tailor the transmission to address the specific needs of individual fleets.”

Steurer further explained that in a computer-driven duty cycle simulation, an UltraShift LEP has demonstrated a 2% fuel savings potential – but cautioned that these were simulations, and that a fleet’s actual mileage could vary widely.

“In a well-spec’d truck and powertrain, there is certainly the potential for an Ultrashift LEP to pay for itself over a 10-speed AMT within two years, and to start paying back to a fleet in fuel savings starting in year three,” he said.

Like all transmissions in the UltraShift product line, the LEP offers fully automatic operation based on industry proven and preferred Fuller manual transmission technology.

UltraShift transmissions also offer a “manual” mode, which holds the current gear and allows driver-selected shifts for additional flexibility in changing conditions and a “low” mode to provide maximum RPMs during downshifts to increase engine braking and control.

In addition to the new LEP, Eaton is also offering two product extensions of the UltraShift LST (Linehaul Standard): the UltraShift LST Overdrive Multi-Torque and the UltraShift LST Direct Drive Multi-Torque.

The UltraShift LST Overdrive Multi-Torque with torque capacity coverage up to 1,750 lb.-ft. in the top two gears allows the truck to be specified with a ‘gear fast, run slow’ configuration while maintaining superior gradeability. The ‘gear fast, run slow’ configuration is designed to allow the engine to run slower at cruise speeds, which translates into potential reduced fuel consumption. The Multi-torque feature is designed to allow the engine to provide additional power when needed, as when climbing a grade.

The UltraShift LST Direct-Drive Multi-Torque features a 1:1 gear ratio that reduces drivetrain friction and oil churning, which company officials say improves efficiency and saves fuel.

The transmission is available in two models.

The first model offers torque capacities of 1,450 lb.-ft. in the first eight gears and 1,650 lb.-ft. in the top two, while the second model offers 1,550 lb.-ft. in the first eight gears and 1,750 lb.-ft. in the top two.

Improved axle efficiency

Dana is developing a new technology to improve the overall efficiency of its Spicer drive axle lineup by better controlling the flow of lubrication.

Based on field and lab testing, the improvements are expected to reduce the negative effects of energy-consuming gear churning by as much as 20%.

Dana says the new technology has been developed around an innovative insert that directs lubrication to areas in the axle where it is needed most, while controlling flow around the ring gear.

The controlled flow aims to minimize churning energy losses while maintaining proper component lubrication.

It is also designed to reduce the amount of lubrication needed at factory and service fill points.

The initial design reduced required lubrication volume by six pints, the company said.

Dana claimed other benefit includes reduced sump temperatures and overall system weight. Dana officials estimate the technology will be ready in time for the introduction of the 2007 diesel engines.

Print this page

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *