Hydraulic hybrid garbage trucks save energy in Florida test
A year-long fleet demonstration in Miami and other Sunshine State cities has been labeled a success by Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp. Autocar E3 refuse vehicles equipped with Parker’s RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System saved Florida cities 43 percent of diesel fuel costs compared to conventional diesel fuel refuse vehicles after one year in service.
The test showed the trucks’ dependability: they were in service 99 percent of the time for their first year of operation. The company says it hopes to use the test results to market the hydraulic hybrid vehicles to other cities. “Having seen the results in these pioneering South Florida communities, many more municipalities and fleet operators have shown interest in purchasing vehicles featuring our RunWise technology,” said Parker hydraulics group president Jeff Cullman.
The pre-production vehicles are being used by Hialeah, Miami-Dade County, and Miami. Miami’s city government has purchased five additional Autocar E3s after operating one truck on city routes during the past year and witnessing close to 50 percent fuel savings when compared to other trucks in its fleet. Miami-Dade County has been using six vehicles and reports that the Autocar E3 vehicles equipped with RunWise consume only 36 gallons of fuel per day compared with the other vehicles in the fleet that consume 63 gallons. Other municipalities in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Indiana have placed orders for the new vehicles.
In addition to fuel savings and the associated reduction in carbon emissions, operators using the vehicles have reported good driving experiences and higher route productivity. “The Hybrid is faster, more dependable, experiences less noise in the cab and has not encountered any problems,” said Scotty Rodgers, an operator for Miami. “The truck moves very smoothly from stop to stop, allowing me to get through my route more quickly.”
Compressed hydraulic fluid in the Parker system captures energy normally lost when the vehicles brake and stores it. As the driver steps on the accelerator, the system releases the compressed fluid, propelling the vehicle from its motionless state. The diesel engine takes over and moves the truck to faster rates of speed.
Parker is expanding its service network in the U.S. Miami hosts a service team to support its customers. The service team has assisted in answering fleet managers’ questions and has recorded and validated the performance of the trucks. Performance measures achieved include reduced fuel consumption, improved route efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.
Vehicle maintenance has been reduced during the test. The brakes, which have yet to require replacement, are expected to last up to eight times longer than brakes on conventional fleets. Airborne brake dust particulates have been reduced during the test, also.
Parker Hannifin is a manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems. It provides engineered solutions for a variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The firm’s annual sales exceeded $12 billion in fiscal year 2011.