At INTERMAT 2009 today, Dana Holding Corporation (NYSE: DAN) introduced new hybrid drivetrain technology specifically engineered for off-highway vehicles.
A concept transmission in the evaluation phase, the Spicer(R) TE-15HX is an electric parallel hybrid that features a dual power path transmission control system. This system continuously monitors operating conditions and selects the proper combination of diesel and electric power to optimize productivity while reducing fuel consumption, emissions, noise, and engine idling.
Emission control is a key consideration for manufacturers of off-highway equipment as they develop new vehicles to meet evolving regulations around the world, including the European Union's Stage III/IV emission standards and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 4 emissions standards. As manufacturers adopt technologies similar to those used in on-highway trucks and buses, the EPA estimates that emissions from off-highway diesel engines will be reduced by more than 90 percent.
"Off-highway vehicles are the next frontier for hybrid technology, especially with the looming deadline for meeting Tier 4 emissions standards," said Nick Stanage , president of Dana's Heavy Vehicle Systems Group. "Purchasers of off-highway equipment will not sacrifice power and productivity for hybrid technology, which is why Dana has engineered the TE-15HX transmission to provide hybrid advantages at vehicle start-up, acceleration, and idling while maintaining the output customers have always received from Spicer off-highway transmissions."
Whenever possible, the TE-15HX control system disengages the diesel engine and supplies power generated by super capacitors for inching and other vehicle operations that require low energy consumption. It also provides power for lights, climate control systems, and other electrical accessories.
For light loads, the diesel engine works alone to power the vehicle while the electric device serves as a generator to efficiently charge the super capacitors for later use. Vehicle braking is also an important source of regenerative energy for recharging the capacitors. When additional tractive effort is required, the controller directs the electric device to function as a motor and provide a second source of power for added torque boost and faster take-off.