IdleAire Technologies Corp. has started building its Advanced Travel Center Electrification project at an Atlanta Petro as truckers’ accessibility to electrification increases nationwide.
The Petro Stopping Center, located at Interstate 285 and Lee Hollowell Parkway, will eventually have electrification available for 250 parking spots.
IdleAir says its system allows truckers to turn their engines off and receive heat, air conditioning and electrical power through a module that fits in the truck window.
Drivers use a $10 adapter with the module, and the $1.25 per hour basic service price is less than the cost of idling, according to the company. This includes high-speed Internet through a touch screen, e-mail accessibility and other offerings.
Premium services also are available that include high-speed Internet for truckers with personal computers, television program packages and computer-based interactive driver training and continuing education curricula.
IdleAire systems are already available at the Knoxville, Tenn., Petro and at Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the South Bronx. Petro plans another installation at its West Memphis, Ark., location and has said it expects to expand electrification to its travel centers nationally.
The New York State Thruway began working with IdleAire on the Thruway’s second electrification project, with a third Thruway site under review.
The two Thruway projects could decrease diesel use by 470,000 gallons annually. Twenty-four units are being installed at Chittenango and 21 units at the DeWitt Travel Plaza, which opened in August 2001, between Interchanges 35 and 36 eastbound in Syracuse.
IdleAire said it is creating 16 additional electrification sites in locations that will include Alabama, Florida, Texas and California.
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant will help fund installing electrification at truckstops along two highways and discount onboard equipment to reduce truck idling for participating fleets.
The agency awarded the California-based Electric Power Research Institute $200,000 to be used toward making electrification available at a maximum of 100 parking places at truckstops along Interstate 5 and a second highway, said Mark Duvall, EPRI’s technology development manager.
The second road under consideration is I-65 through Alabama, Duvall said. On I-5, electrification will be made available at truckstops from Washington to Southern California.
EPRI does not know yet which truckstops will be involved, or how many locations will be wired. One installation is underway at Sacramento’s 49er Truckstop, where Sacramento Municipal Utility District is putting in electrification infrastructure to accommodate 15 trucks.
A maximum of 100 trucks will be able to participate in this project, Duvall said.
The EPA’s SmartWay Transport program provided the funding. Program partners are EPRI, EPA, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Xantrex Technology. Xantrex is supplying the power inverter and auxiliary battery.
This equipment package allows truckers to have heating and cooling, and to operate conveniences such as microwaves, even if a location does not offer electrification. The three pieces of equipment will be available to participating fleets for a discounted price of about $3,500 per truck.
By 2004 the truckstops and the participating trucks should have the necessary installation to begin the project, Duvall said.
EPRI and the participating fleets will log the fuel and maintenance savings from idling reduction over six months. Duval estimates the annual energy savings to be about $2,450 per truck.
Brian Lawrence, Xantrex trucking industry market manager, said he expected to have the list of participating fleets complete by summer. Fleets interested in participating in the project may contact Lawrence at (800) 446-6180.