Trash trucks are some of the least efficient vehicles on the road. This, however, makes them prime candidates for a green overhaul. With their great weight, as well as the stop-and-go driving, they average only a few miles per gallon. A new hydraulic hybrid system developed by Eaton Corporation called Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) promises fuel savings of up to 25% and emissions reductions of 20 to 30% over conventional trucks.
The HLA-equipped trucks are not electric hybrids, although they do use regenerative braking. But it is a different technology from that found in cars like the Toyota Prius or the Chevy Volt. The brakes on the truck are connected to a system which pressurizes a hydraulic accumulator when the truck slows. Hydraulic pressure is then used to accelerate the vehicle when it begins to move again.
The trucks have been tested in Dallas, Fort Worth and Denver, and a new fleet of 4 HLA equipped trucks are beginning as part of an upgraded curbside recycling service in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition to fuel cost savings, the HLA vehicles are expected to offer significant savings on brakes. Conventional trucks need brake repairs 3 to 4 times a year, but the HLA vehicles can go more than a year before needing work. Using hydraulics avoids the costs of batteries and electric motors for the trucks, although the HLA system does cost around $40,000 per vehicle. But those costs are expected to be paid back more than double through fuel savings as well as reduced maintenance over the ten-year lifespan of the trucks.
via: EERE Reports and AutoBlogGreen
written by ScandalousMuffin, August 06, 2010
written by travis, August 10, 2010
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