To provide sufficient power for all in-cab functions while also reducing the risk of standstill due to discharged batteries, Volvo Trucks has introduced a new battery system for its FH and FM ranges. “Drivers can enjoy improved comfort and living conditions, knowing that they have enough power for their needs, with minimal risk of draining all the power from the starter batteries,” said Samuel Nerdal, Product Manager Electrical and Electronics at Volvo Trucks.
The new battery system has two separate battery sets - one for starting the engine, and the other for all other in-cab electrical equipment. The starter battery's only function is to crank the engine and is not affected by power consumption in the rest of the truck. All other functions such as the parking heater, parking cooler, refrigerator, media system and personal equipment including laptops, mobile phones and tablets are powered by separate gel batteries.
By using gel technology, the new battery solution can meet the increasingly high energy requirements demanded by many customers today. Compared to conventional lead-acid batteries, gel technology has the ability to maintain high concentrations of energy for long periods of time.
"These benefits can be seen primarily in long distance transportation and in really hot or cold climates. Even on cold winter nights, the driver can enjoy a good night's rest without having to get up and start the engine in order to recharge the batteries," explained Samuel Nerdal.
Fewer engine starts also means lower fuel consumption and reduced environmental impact. “A parked truck with an idling engine consumes about three litres of fuel per hour. With our solution, it is possible to minimise idling time and thus significantly cut fuel costs,” added Nerdal.
The new gel batteries offer a far longer service lifetime than conventional lead-acid batteries, as well as more charging cycles. In fact, during tough cycles, the gel batteries will last at least 10-15 times longer.
“Our battery system not only meets today's high demands for a secure electricity supply, it also contributes to increased vehicle up-time and lower operating costs. This is a solution that will benefit many customers,” concluded Nerdal.