DENTON, Texas ... Emerging technology that recycles a truck's kinetic energy to conserve fuel and assist in acceleration is being jointly developed by Peterbilt Motors Company and Eaton Corporation. A Peterbilt Model 320 spec'd for refuse applications will be on display with the Hydraulic Launch AssistTM system at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum in Kalamazoo, Mich., October 14 and 15.
"The technology could have a significant impact on improving the operating costs of customers involved in stop-and-go applications, such as refuse," says Peterbilt Chief Engineer Craig Brewster. "Hydraulic Launch Assist can be quickly tailored for maximum fuel economy or enhanced productivity through quicker acceleration and shorter cycle times. Additionally, the system increases brake life and reduces engine and transmission wear, potentially extending component life and lowering service costs. It is also more environmentally friendly by decreasing exhaust emissions and noise."
Brewster cites initial testing that shows HLA® can be used to considerably improve fuel efficiency in fuel economy mode or reduce cycle times in productivity mode. In both modes, reduced brake wear of more than 50 percent has been observed.
From a driver perspective, operating a vehicle equipped with the HLA system is seamless and requires no new training or skills.
From a service standpoint, because HLA utilizes common hydraulic-based technologies, the system should be familiar territory for shop technicians.
How the HLA System Works
Hydraulic Launch Assist works by recovering a portion of the energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle's brakes, in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid. This fluid is stored in on-board accumulators until the driver next accelerates the vehicle.
Fuel savings occur when the stored energy is then used to launch the vehicle during the initial, high fuel consumption start from stop, followed seamlessly by power from the primary engine. In performance mode, the stored energy is released and blended with engine power at launch. This can significantly improve acceleration due to the high power density of hydraulics.
As a safety consideration, the HLA system is bypassed in panic-stop events, immediately activating the Anti-lock Braking System.
HLA is designed to provide maximum benefit for vehicles with 7,000 lbs. or higher GVW and engaged primarily in stop-and-go work.
Brewster says Peterbilt is targeting evaluation of a production representative vehicle next year.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2003 sales of $8.1 billion. Eaton is a global leader in fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety; and intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy. Eaton has 55,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 100 countries.
Peterbilt Motors Company, a division of PACCAR Inc (Nasdaq: PCAR), manufactures premium quality trucks for a wide range of markets, including over-the-road, construction, municipal and medium-duty. Based in Denton, Texas, Peterbilt combines classic styling, innovative design and superior-quality features in a custom-engineered truck that stands as the "Class" of the industry. Through its 200-plus North American dealer locations, Peterbilt also provides a comprehensive array of TruckCare® aftermarket support programs, including preventive maintenance plans, expedited QuickCare services, automated parts inventory replenishment and 24/7 complimentary Customer Assistance through 1-800-4-PETERBILT. For more information about Peterbilt, visit www.peterbilt.com.