LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Webasto has introduced BlueCool Truck a product that keeps the truck cab and sleeper cool without burning diesel or requiring the engine to run an auxiliary power unit (APU).
The technology was developed by Webasto Product North America and its German parent company Webasto AG, and was unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
“BlueCool Truck presents a huge step forward in presenting solutions that assist fleet and owner operators to meet the regulations yet still provide interior comfort irrespective of the vehicle’s location in hot or cold climates,” announced Rolf Lichtner, director of marketing services at Webasto Product North America. “Paired with the successful and well-established range of Webasto truck cab auxiliary heaters in our C5 (Complete Cabin Climate Comfort Control) concept, BlueCool Truck completely eliminates the need for engine idling to condition the vehicle’s interior environment.”
Lichtner added: “Not only is this good news for the environment, it’s also good news for the truck operator. According to experts, idling diesel engines consume about a gallon of fuel every hour so over time BlueCool Truck and our truck heaters save remarkable amounts of diesel fuel. Both BlueCool Truck and Webasto truck heaters truly are smart solutions to engine-off heavy-truck cab comfort.”
More than 20 U.S. states and cities have recently begun enforcing anti-idling laws which apply to vehicles over 10,000 lbs. These vehicles are not allowed to idle for more than five minutes while not involved in work activities, Webasto officials said.
While auxiliary cab heaters and engine pre-heaters use the truck’s on-board fuel tank as a source of energy during the heating phase, BlueCool Truck does not. Instead, the system uses a cold storage cell that charges during operating hours and stores the energy for use when the truck is shut down. It then uses that supply of stored energy to circulate cool air throughout the cab interior, the company says.
BlueCool Truck also runs independently of the truck’s air conditioner, using only small amounts of electricity to circulate coolant between the cold storage unit and a heat exchanger in the sleeper cab. It distributes the cool air using four quiet air distribution fans, the company explained.
Simple controls include a rotary temperature knob and an infinitely variable fan speed control with an integrated on/off switch. The system includes manually adjustable air vents which allow the driver to control airflow throughout the cabin.
The cold storage unit is 17,000 BTUs, and Webasto officials said it provides efficient heat transfer during the charging and cooling phases. A graphite matrix provides exceptional heat conductivity between the circulated coolant and the core of the cold storage unit, the company said. The result is an impressive capacity for absorbing heat and the ability to cool the cab’s interior over a prolonged period even with high exterior temperatures.
In fact, Webasto said tests have shown the BlueCool Truck system can keep a can’s interior below 70 F for about nine hours when it’s 90 F outside.
Production of the BlueCool Truck system will begin early this summer. For more information, visit www.webasto.us.
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