Eaton improves fuel efficiency

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation has announced a number of enhancements that will increase the fuel economy, performance and payback of its hybrid power system for commercial vehicles including a new high-capacity battery, a new single-phase 115-volt AC Auxiliary Power Generator (APG), a higher capacity clutch to expand applications up to 860 lb-ft of torque and a new remanufactured battery for aftermarket purchase.

At the heart of the high-capacity lithium-ion battery is new technology that employs the latest battery cell architecture. The new design increases the fuel savings of Eaton’s hybrid power system an additional 5 to 10 percent while also improving vehicle performance. In addition, the new battery more than doubles the engine-off capability of the system for job-site operations and extends battery life.

“Not only will fleets realize greater fuel efficiency and reduced C02 emissions, but drivers will notice faster acceleration with the updated hybrid propulsion system,” said Kevin Beaty, product strategy and manufacturing operations and strategic sourcing manager, hybrid power systems for Eaton. “The new battery is designed to allow for simplified servicing of internal components.”

Eaton is also introducing a new single-phase 5-kilowatt Auxiliary Power Generator this fall. The APG option converts high-voltage DC current from the battery to 115-volt AC current that can be used by any number of tools on the job site. The APG unit is more compact and 25 pounds lighter than Eaton’s previous offering, which increases flexibility of installation.

“The new APG unit offers a soft-start function that can handle high inrush loads that require an immediate boost of power,” notes Gerard DeVito, engineering director – Eaton hybrid power systems. “The APG is also a fully isolated system from the high-voltage battery, which eliminates the need for a separate isolating transformer to further reduce cost and weight.”

Both the new high capacity battery and APG will be rolled out during the fourth quarter of this year to serve utility applications. The high capacity battery will be available for city delivery and beverage tractor applications in the third quarter of 2012.

In addition to the new battery and APG, Eaton is now offering higher capacity clutches that can handle engines up to 860 lb-ft of torque and 300 HP. This increased torque capacity results in greater vehicle performance for heavier applications, including select tandem axle configurations.

Lastly, Eaton will begin offering a remanufactured battery in July that will provide fleets with an aftermarket battery option at an affordable cost.

“Fleets can now extend the life of their hybrid power system for a fraction of the cost of new service units,” said Beaty. “Our goal is to provide the greatest possible value to hybrid customers who want more sustainable fleets at the best possible cost.”

Eaton hybrid power systems employ parallel-type diesel-electric hybrid architecture that incorporates an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and input of the transmission. The system recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, the stored energy is used to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance and is ideal for stop-and-go applications.

Eaton hybrid power systems have collectively accumulated more than 300 million miles of service, reducing fuel consumption by more than 8 million gallons of diesel fuel and C02 emissions by more than 80,000 metric tons. More than 6,000 of Eaton’s hybrid systems are in use today on city buses, school buses, package delivery trucks, beverage delivery trucks, refrigerated delivery trucks, refuse and recycling trucks, utility vehicles and other commercial applications.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with more than 100 years of experience providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. With 2011 sales of $16.0 billion, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 72,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.