Diesel fuel is a major contributor to particulate matter (PM) released when the fuel is burned. This PM is identified as a potential carcinogen and blamed for a variety of lung-related illnesses. Approximately 94% of all freight in North America is moved by diesel power. An average tractor-trailer idles an estimated 1,830 hours/year when parked overnight at truck stops. However, during idling, the efficiency of a diesel engine drops from 40% to as low as 1 to 11%. This idling also leads to a significant amount of fuel consumption, estimated about 950 million gallons of diesel fuel annually in the U.S. alone for tasks such as maintaining the cab and/or sleeper heated or cooled overnight. Another example of idling is a refrigeration truck that needs to power its refrigeration system to keep its food at a desired temperature, even when it is not moving. Due to new stringent standards aimed at reducing emissions from on-road vehicles by as much as 90%, there is a high demand for new "green" systems that can produce the energy needed for these auxiliary systems without burning diesel fuel.
In all reported systems for reducing the effect of service vehicle idling, it is assumed that the engine or wall power is used for the charging of the batteries. However, in this project, we intend to significantly improve the efficiencies of anti-idling systems by introducing Regenerative Auxiliary Power Systems (RAPS) in which the otherwise wasted kinetic energy of the vehicle during braking will be used for charging the batteries. The research done on this theme is generalized to include any service vehicle with auxiliary devices. To make anti-idling systems more affordable and efficient, a holistic approach considers all aspects of these systems including:
- Proper component sizing based on service cycles
- Overall system costs
- Power management optimization
- Ease of installation and maintenance