Kenworth Truck Co. has integrated battery monitoring with engine auto start and stop capability in a new option available on the company’s T680 sleeper trucks. The new option is available with or without the Kenworth Idle Management System. Engine auto start monitors the starting batteries. It also monitors auxiliary batteries used with the battery-based Kenworth Idle Management System, or batteries used to power hotel loads through an inverter. When batteries get to a critical level, the Kenworth T680 automatically turns on the engine to begin battery charging.
“Our system takes the guess work out of battery monitoring,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth’s chief engineer. “In the past, batteries could be drawn down through hotel loads to a level that wouldn’t allow the truck to start. Or, if the truck had a low-voltage disconnect (LVD), it would shut power down to protect battery integrity. But, an LVD is reactive. Our system is proactive – so instead of shutting down battery draws, we automatically start the main engine to keep all systems going while recharging the batteries to a steady state. Once at a designated level of charge, the engine shuts down.”
The Kenworth Driver Performance Center on the Kenworth T680 provides the operator with real-time information on the battery state of charge. “This is very useful when the engine comes on for recharging – the driver can watch the progression in charging,” said Baney. “If the driver needs only an hour or two more power before leaving to deliver a load, he can shut down the system early and use the battery power – then recharge the battery banks while on the road.”
The auto start and stop feature combined with the Kenworth Idle Management System for the Kenworth T680 76-in. sleeper enables truck operators to more effectively manage climate control and other hotel loads during truck downtime. The battery-based APU system for air conditioning is linked directly into the T680 ducting system. An optional fuel-fired heater provides full engine-off heating capability. The integrated system extends air conditioning performance and is appreciated by drivers who want cool comfort in their sleepers during their rest period.
“The Kenworth Idle Management System is a seamless integration into the T680 and provides excellent, engine-off, heating and cooling,” said Baney. “And, since it’s integrated, it has a very small under-bunk footprint to maintain storage space for drivers and teams.”