Kenworth has announced advanced technology for enhanced protection against battery drainage. The system provides a dedicated engine start module and an inverter for increased performance. Kenworth also released availability of a new inverter/charger option for easier battery recharging while parked. Also new is an automatic battery monitoring and engine startup for the Kenworth Idle Management System.
Kenworth now offers the ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM) as a factory-installed option for new Kenworth T680s and T880s. The engine start module provides dedicated power to start the truck. That frees the truck’s standard batteries to focus on powering accessory devices such as a laptop, microwave, refrigerator and television electronics in addition to the truck’s electronics and lights. The ESM is designed to start an engine in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, even when the batteries have low voltage.
“The Engine Start Module has proven itself as a very capable solution for situations where starting reliability is critical,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer. “Kenworth is adding this technology so our customers can immediately benefit from this cost-effective option to reduce downtime and maintenance costs caused by low voltage.” Kenworth dealers offer ESM as an aftermarket solution, as well.
Kenworth’s enhanced 1,800-watt inverter provides drivers with the convenience of AC power in the sleeper to efficiently run appliances, entertainment systems and other devices.
“Inverters are really a popular option, and aid in driver comfort,” said Baney. “It’s so much more convenient to run everyday products on AC-power versus DC. The benefit is that drivers can operate more systems and devices with the inverter’s better performance in handling high-amp loads.”
According to Baney, the inverter includes charging capability – something new that Kenworth is offering. “You can plug the truck into shore power at a truck stop, at home or at a terminal and run all your hotel loads while charging the batteries,” he said. “A control panel in the sleeper provides on/off switching, plus battery status.”
The inverter is mounted on the rear wall in the sleeper storage compartment, giving clear toolbox access and additional outlets through the toolbox door. The new inverter is optional for the Kenworth Idle Management System with the T680 76-inch sleeper.
The Kenworth Idle Management System is a battery-based auxiliary power unit (APU) system for air conditioning integrated directly into the Kenworth T680’s ducting system. It is designed to keep the cab and sleeper comfortable for up to 10 hours. An optional fuel-fired heater provides full engine-off heating capability.
“Later this year, we will add an Engine Auto Start and Stop function for the Kenworth Idle Management System to provide automatic battery monitoring and engine startup when battery levels reach their minimum state,” said Baney. “This allows the batteries to be recharged while air conditioning and hotel loads are still being utilized. Once batteries are sufficiently charged, the system shuts down the engine and runs once again on pure battery power.”