Delphi Corporation and Peterbilt Motors Company successfully demonstrated a Delphi solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) auxiliary power unit (APU) powering a Peterbilt Model 386 truck’s “hotel” loads. During recent testing at Peterbilt’s Texas headquarters, the Delphi SOFC provided power for the Model 386’s electrical system and air conditioning and maintained the truck’s batteries — all while the Model 386’s diesel engine was turned off.
This demonstration, held in June, leveraged development supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Fossil Energy’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program. Delphi’s SOFC technology directly addresses increasingly stringent anti-idling legislation and other proposals addressing commercial truck emissions, noise and fuel consumption.
Delphi’s SOFC converts chemical energy in conventional fuels directly into useful electrical power without combustion. A SOFC operates quietly and at a higher efficiency level than traditional internal combustion engines. By limiting idling time and running a SOFC instead of the main engine, emissions are reduced, noise is nearly eliminated, and operators realize significant fuel savings.