Mack truck operators can run their televisions and cool their sleepers without running the big diesel if they order the new Idle Free Hybrid System as an option. New from Mack Trucks, exclusively, this non-polluting anti-idling system uses batteries to provide reliable electrical power — and thus save a lot of fuel.
The environmental and financial benefits of reducing idling are huge, and by now they must be well understood.
But Mack says drivers still need a comfortable environment during non-driving hours, with the freedom to use
electric devices while off duty.
The system uses a bank of high-efficiency absorbed-glass-mat (AGM) batteries to provide stored electrical power for heating, air conditioning and amenities like a TV or microwave. These sealed batteries are known for their durable, long-life operation, says Mack, and can be safely housed inside the truck. The battery bank is stored under the sleeper’s bunk.
The batteries can be recharged three different ways: by the truck’s alternator when the engine is running; through
a shore-power connection when the vehicle is stopped; or through an available connection to a trailer’s reefer
unit. When the truck isn’t moving, the driver can use battery or shore power to run heating, air conditioning and amenities. The system provides either 12- or 120-volt power.
Idle Free uses a Xantrex Prosine 2000-watt inverter/charger to control and regulate electrical power, as well as to charge both the Idle Free batteries and the truck’s batteries. Mack’s complete climate control package
includes a Webasto diesel-fired heater and a Dometic HVAC unit. The Odyssey AGM 31 batteries are said to be able to run the AC for 10 hours with an outside air temperature of 90 degrees.
Idle Free’s advantages over traditional auxiliary power units, the truck maker says, include relatively light weight — with five batteries, inverter, HVAC and controls, the system is 370 lb, less than many APUs. It’s also quiet, does not consume fuel, requires no maintenance, and is not subject to local idling restrictions.
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