|A sample TSE map, showing locations (red triangles) in California. Click to enlarge.|
A new internet-based Truck Stop Electrification Station Locator (TSE) helps truckers find truck stops with idle-reduction facilities: on-site systems that can substantially cut fuel use while reducing engine emissions.
Truck stop electrification—similar to “cold-ironing” for ships at port—allows truckers to plug-in their long-haul tractor-trailers to operate the heater, air-conditioner and run electrical appliances such as refrigerators or televisions when they are resting during their federally required rest periods (10 hours rest period for every 11 on the road) from grid power rather than from electricity generated by running the on-board diesel engine.
Options for truck stop electrification include stand-alone systems that are located at truck stops, and combined systems that require both on-board and off-board equipment.
|The IdleAire control module for each truck. Click to enlarge.|
There are two main types of idle reduction facilities included in the TSE station locator, IdleAire and Shurepower technologies. Both allow drivers to shut off their engines while allowing cab appliances to remain powered and working to meet the needs of the truck driver.
The TSE map allows the user to drill down on the graphical displays of TSE stations to find information such as location, direction, phone, TSE type, type of communication supported (e.g., wireless Internet), hours and payment types.
Estimates show idle-reduction technologies could reduce diesel fuel use by about 800 million gallons annually, with a potential savings to the trucking industry of $2 billion each year. In addition, idle reduction strategies can reduce NOx emissions by approximately 150,000 tonnes per year and particulate matter emissions by up to 3,000 tonnes per year.
By reducing the amount of time that trucks idle, typically 6 hours per night, drivers can significantly reduce engine wear and associated maintenance costs. Routine maintenance can be performed less often and trucks can travel farther before needing an engine overhaul.
There are currently fewer than 50 TSE stations in eleven states—Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—with plans for many more new facilities to open in the near future.
The internet-based mapping system was developed through an interagency agreement by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with funding from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The project resulted from a collaboration between FHWA and the DOE’ Clean Cities activity.
The mapping tool is available on the Clean Cities Web site free of charge.