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A cool way to reduce idling.

As more anti-idling rules for heavy trucks are being enacted and more seriously enforced--by states and municipalities across the nation, truck fleets and operators are seeing a growth in technologies designed to keep cabs and sleeper compartments comfortable during mandated rest periods. Webasto, known primarily for its engine preheat and engine-off cab heaters, recently unveiled the Webasto's BlueCool Truck system, which is designed to keep truck interiors cool without idling the main engine or the addition of an auxiliary power unit.

"Both BlueCool Truck and Webasto track heaters truly are smart solutions to engine-off heavy-truck cab comfort," said Rolf Lichtner, director of marketing services at Webasto Product North America. "BlueCool Truck presents a huge step forward in presenting solutions that assist fleet and owner operators to meet the regulations, yet still provide interior comfort, irrespective of the vehicle's location in hot or cold climates."

The BlueCool Truck system uses a cold storage cell that is charged while the truck is operated. When the driver rests, the truck engine can be switched off and the BlueCool Truck system circulates cool air to the cab and sleeper. The heart of the storage cell is a maintenance-free graphite matrix technology that provides excellent thermal conductivity between the circulated R-134A coolant and the core of the cold storage unit, Webasto said. The 17,000 btu cold storage unit can absorb large amounts of heat to cool the sleeping berth over a prolonged period, even in ambient temperatures as high as 110[degrees]E according to the company. The system can supply a cooling output of 1000 to 6000 btu/hr. The bunk control temperature ranges from 68[degrees] to 78[degrees]F. Webasto said that tests have demonstrated the system's capability to cool a truck's sleeper cab to below 70[degrees]F for approximately nine hours, even in ambient temperatures above 90[degrees]F.

The BlueCool Truck system has two main components. The 250 lb. refrigeration and cold storage unit occupies 24 in. of frame rail space. The 26 lb. in-cab air chiller and handier is 26 in. high, 24 in. wide and 8 in. deep.

Unlike auxiliary cab heaters and engine preheaters that use furl from the vehicle's diesel tanks, the BlueCool Truck system consumes no fuel during operation. It runs independent of the vehicle's air-conditioning system and uses a relatively small amount of energy--3.5 to 6.5 amps of 12 V power during cooling--to circulate super-chilled coolant between the refrigeration and cold storage unit outside and the air chiller and handler inside the truck. Four small air distribution fans provide a maximum airflow of 150 cfm with sound emissions below 62 dB(A), according to the company.

System controls consist of one rotary temperature knob and an infinitely variable fan speed control with an integrated on/offswitch. Air vents are manually adjustable to provide optimal airflow throughout the cab and sleeper.

Webasto said the BlueCool Truck system can be operated in conjunction with a Webasto Air Top 2000 heater, creating Webasto's C5 (Complete Cabin Climate Comfort Control) concept, which eliminates the need for engine idling no matter the ambient temperature.

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Title Annotation:truck technology; information about BlueCool Truck system developed by Webasto
Author:Siuru, Bill
Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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