MATS: Bendix system boosts fuel economy and acceleration

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Although it may sound like something from the future, the Bendix Pneumatic Booster System (PBS) is getting close to reality and is the first air management system of its kind to simultaneously improve fuel economy and vehicle acceleration, while reducing engine emissions.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems began designing and engineering its PBS system several years ago in an effort to address engine performance concerns by transit operators in South America.

Previewed for the first time in the Bendix Technology Center at the 2009 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., PBS is the only system of its kind known to simultaneously improve efficiency, reduce turbo lag, and reduce Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions and particulate matter.

PBS is currently undergoing internal validation, as well as field and engine benchmarking testing.

The system is placed near the air intake manifold on an engine and monitors the Controller Area Network (CAN) for specific signals. Once the conditions for activation are met, the PBS injects compressed air from an auxiliary air tank into the engine manifold, delivering the desired amount of air that the diesel combustion processes require.

Typically, says Bendix, when a driver presses down on the throttle to demand acceleration, there is a delay in engine response because of turbo lag. This lag constitutes the time difference between acceleration demand and the maximum air delivery of the turbocharger. The Bendix PBS system overcomes turbo lag by instantaneously injecting the desired air into the intake manifold, allowing the turbocharger to spin up to its full capacity and taking over the air delivery demands.

Bendix has begun integrating its PBS system into new engine platforms. Initial testing results show that the addition of PBS to a 7.8-liter engine results in better overall performance than a typical 10-liter engine, allowing for smaller engines with the inclusion of PBS.

Currently, two models are available, reaching 80 percent of engine applications. The Bendix PBS 200 model is available for 4- to 8-liter engines, while the Bendix PBS 400 is available for 8- to 13-liter engines.

"Bendix developed this technology to allow for a smaller engine with comparable engine and vehicle performance," said Steve Mance, vice-president and general manager of the charging business for Bendix CVS. "Ultimately, PBS will help address EPA emissions standards by improving fuel economy and minimizing emissions released into the environment. We developed this smart system to respond to changing global rules, while also delivering the most effective cost-competitive solution."

Get a real-time account of the Mid-America Trucking Show by checking out Marco Beghetto’s blog.

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