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Balqon working with Polar Power to develop series plug-in hybrid drive system for heavy-duty trucks and buses

XRE-20 battery-electric yard tractor. Click to enlarge.

Balqon Corporation, a developer of electric drive system technology for commercial vehicles (earlier post), has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Polar Power Inc. to develop a series plug-in hybrid system for Balqon’s line of heavy-duty electric trucks and buses. Under this agreement both companies will work towards development of a 40 kW on-board DC generator to charge batteries during the daily drive cycle to increase the range of Balqon vehicles.

Balqon’s heavy-duty trucks and drive systems are designed to transport up to 30 ton cargo containers. Products include the Li-in battery-powered Model XRE20 yard tractor designed for port drayage applications.

Integration of on-board generator in our 2014 model year vehicles allows us to address increased range applications for heavy duty trucks and buses used at ports, airports and distribution warehouses, while still providing our customer with lower operating cost and emissions of an electric drive train.

We believe Polar Power’s decades of experience in developing and integrating DC powered generator systems provides us the opportunity to jointly address the growing need for lower emission heavy duty vehicles in global markets

—Balwinder Samra, CEO and President of Balqon Corporation

Polar Power’s 26 kW diesel DC generator. Click to enlarge.

Polar Power Inc., founded in 1979, provides power and cooling solutions for a number of industry sectors. Among its offerings, the company manufactures DC generators for a range of applications, including commercial vehicle range extenders, and also provides level 2 and 3 fast charging.

Polar Power, Inc. first tested its DC generator using PMHH (Permanent Magnet Hybrid Homopolar) Alternator technology in 1992. The Polar DC Generators are designed and optimized to deliver high currents at low voltages. Polar assembles their generators to meet the clients requirements by adding the appropriate diesel, gasoline, or gas (propane, butane, natural) engine to its proprietary DC alternators. The engines are available in either liquid or air-cooled versions.

Currently, Polar’s highest power generator is the 26 kW 8340P-40422 diesel generator; targeted applications include hybrid vehicle drives.

Polar says that its alternator design allows turning the engine at slower speeds, thereby extending engine life. The voltage regulator has automatic two-step engine speed control. At high electrical load demands the regulator, through an external solenoid, automatically increases engine RPM; at low loads the engine speed is automatically decreased.

The 26 kW diesel DC generator delivers its continuous 26 kW rated power at 2,900 rpm; output voltage is 48-500 VDC. The genset is based on a 2.2L, 4-cylinder in-line Perkins engine. Calculated fuel consumption is 250 g/kWh.


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