March 14, 2008 There are an estimated 1.3 million long-haul trucks in the US, all of which require drivers to take a federally required 10 hours rest for every 11 hours driving. During these off-periods, the average truck loses a whopping one gallon of fuel per hour while the driver sleeps and the engine idles. IdleAire addresses the significant economic and environmental consequences of this waste with its Truck Stop Electrification and Advanced Travel Center electrification systems, which provide truck drivers with the power required for climate control, as well as television and web-connectivity.
Drivers are forced to rely on their truck engines to power air conditioning or heating systems in order to comfortably rest. However, not only does the vibration and noise make proper sleep difficult, but the idling engine is incredibly inefficient. In winter, up to 85% of the energy in diesel fuel is wasted as heat and pollutant, while in summer the figure rises to 94%. A constantly idling engine also decreases engine life and consumes extra fuel, leading to expensive maintenance costs for the owner.
The IdleAire system costs only $10 to install in a vehicle, and allows connection with 120-volt electricity outlets and communication and entertainment devices in compatible parking bays. The trucks are connected to the Service Delivery Module by a flexible hose, and drivers control the system from a touch screen - which also displays three kinds of internet connection, movies-on-demand, 66 satellite television channels, and interactive driver training. The air-conditioning and heating system draws air from inside the cab and filters it every minute, subjecting it to ultraviolet light that kills bacteria and spores. It has a range of 65-85 degrees, and provides drivers with air that is much cleaner than the outside environment.
In addition to making rest stops more comfortable for the driver, IdleAire greatly decreases the financial burden to owners. The cheap window adapter installation avoids the ongoing maintenance costs associated with other devices on the market. The system also appeals to parking lot owners, who generate revenue from installing Truck Stop Electrification services on their property.