Tuesday, August 29, 2017

INL to demonstrate solar-powered battery system for cooling buses

Motor Coach Industries supplies buses to Idaho National Laboratory and collaborates on research to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Idaho National Laboratory will demonstrate a new solar/battery-powered system for cooling motor coach buses Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Energy Innovation Laboratory meeting center, 775 University Blvd.  The demonstration is being held in conjunction with a forum for industry leaders being held at INL.

The Motor Coach No-Idle Proof of Concept research initiative will demonstrate how a bus at standstill with the engine turned off – for example, waiting before loading passengers – can keep the passenger coach comfortable by drawing on solar-powered batteries to run the HVAC (heating-cooling) system.

The solar panel system charges the batteries to help power and increase the run time of the air-conditioning units. This reduces the amount of typical idle time needed by buses that run diesel-powered engines to cool the coach interiors when at standstill. The system addresses a growing challenge of federal and state regulations that require bus operators to reduce fuel emissions or face penalties.

With funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sustainability Performance Office, INL formed a research and development partnership with Bergstrom Inc., a prominent cab climate systems designer/builder, and leading bus manufacturer Motor Coach Industries (MCI) to design and modify a bus cooling-ventilating system to sharply reduce idle emissions.

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