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Eaton Launches Hydraulic Hybrid Retrofit Program for Refuse Trucks

Eaton Wins Bid to Develop Next-Generation Automated Transmission for Cummins SuperTruck Program

Cummins, Inc. has chosen Eaton to participate in its SuperTruck program to develop a next-generation automated transmission that improves fuel efficiency in heavy-duty trucks.

Cummins recently received $39 million in funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop its SuperTruck project in conjunction with Peterbilt Motors Company. (Earlier post.) The goal of the SuperTruck program initiated by the DOE is to improve long-haul Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency.

The program focuses on advanced and highly efficient engine systems and vehicle technologies that meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements.

The SuperTruck project will develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, a fuel cell auxiliary power unit to reduce engine idling on an aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor and trailer combination. The SuperTruck will result in a fuel-efficient, low emissions diesel engine with an Eaton automated transmission that achieves a significant fuel economy improvement over current diesel technology.


Henry Gibson

Some very large WWII aircraft engines had an exhaust gas turbine coupled with gears to the main shaft; they also had supercharging. With the invention of transistors, gas turbines can be much higher speed and more efficient as can superchargers. Capstone ought to demonstrate its 200 kw turbine in a series electric hybrid truck. Actually it might also try three of its 65 kw units instead.

A tiny diesel auxilary power unit would be cheaper than a fuel cell and easier to operate. It would actually be as efficient on a well-to-kilowatt-hour basis. ZEBRA batteries could store enough power for very long rest periods as can the new Firefly batteries at less cost than fuel cells. Catalyst heaters can eliminate bursts of pollution on start up, so ocassional start up to charge batteries do not represent major fuel use or pollution.

It is now possible to retrofit all trucks at low cost to measure the kilowatts and kilowatt-hours used for their trips. Some drivers will be more efficient than others just as some steam locomotive engineers used more coal and water for the same stretch of track. Computer operation of engine and transmission can greatly increase efficiency of operation. Various people are working on heat recovery systems, and it seems that steam must be considered. Steam hybrids have an old history and computer control and modern materials make them far more possible and easy to manage. The KITSON-STILL locomotive should be kept in mind for the new freight tranport tractors. ..HG..


Henry, the Kitson-Still was just a way to avoid having to slip a clutch to start a locomotive from a halt.  The engine did not operate on steam and diesel simultaneously, and if it made economic sense it wouldn't have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

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