In the United States today, there are more than one million long-haul, heavy-duty commercial trucks with sleeper cabs on the road. When drivers stop for their mandatory rest periods or loading/unloading, they often leave their engines idling in order to heat/cool the sleeping areas and operate other vehicle systems. This idling practice is costly to the driver, the fleet owner, and harmful to the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Way Transport Partnership estimates that each year, long duration idling of truck engines consumes approximately 960 million gallons of diesel fuel and emits 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 180 thousand tons of nitrogen oxides, and 5 thousand tons of particulate matter into the air. In addition to the consumed fuel and emissions, idling trucks create elevated noise levels. The SOFC APU has the potential to decrease idling fuel consumption by up to 85%, reduce exhaust emissions below federal regulation emission standards, and decrease radiated noise levels to less than 60 decibels when compared to the truck’s main engine.
As a result of the on-road demonstration under this project, Delphi will be able to present user profile data to its fleet customer. This data will reinforce the lab-generated data showing that use of an SOFC APU as an anti-idling solution will provide drivers and fleets with reduced fuel consumption as well as reduced emissions and noise. This demonstration should increase the overall awareness of SOFC APUs and provide positive momentum in preparing to commercialize this product.