Tenneco eyes options for wasted heat

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ATLANTA, GA – If Tenneco has its way, no heat will be wasted heat.

The aftermarket parts manufacturer brought its Chief Technology Officer, Ben Patel, to the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show to talk about its latest developments and ongoing research projects in the emissions space.

Patel spoke about the Euro 6 concept box — an integrated system enabling direct waste heat recovery, and also optimized for weight — that could be made available to customers at a low cost.

“If you’re in the emissions game, heat is your friend,” he said.

The waste heat recovery aids in speeding up chemical reactions, Patel says, enabling captured and stored heat to be used to make other systems in the truck work faster.

Patel also took the opportunity to show off Tenneco’s concept of a cold start thermal unit, which complies with reduce NOx emissions through a full range of operating conditions.

Tenneco’s air-gapped manifold is modular, and could be taken apart and put back together “like Lego pieces,” says Patel. That will shorten the development time, and reduce the cost of tooling and testing. The lower surface temperature of the manifold means it will not require a heat shield.

Harvesting back the free heat that comes out of the tailpipe is a theme for Tenneco’s research and development products, with the company looking for the lowest-cost way to bring customers the opportunity to increase performance using something the truck already creates.

Patel says the consumer market isn’t ready for the products yet, but getting into the space now will be crucial, to ensure enough time for development and testing.

He adds that customers will be ready for the technology when all of the low-hanging fruit has been adopted, and these solutions will offer customers another option.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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