Overview

The Idle Free electric APU is a complete solution for sleeper trucks pulling a dry van

The battery-based Idle Free electric APU is the complete, year-round electric APU solution for sleeper trucks and day cabs pulling a dry van.

This system captures energy produced by the engine's alternator and stores it in an independent AGM battery bank. When the engine is off, this energy can be used to:

  • Power A/C and heat systems
  • Provide 120 volt AC electricity for televisions, microwaves,
    and other hotel needs
  • Keep the truck engine warm

The battery-based system is CARB-compliant. It is also an EPA SmartWay-verified technology, which means it is one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient technologies available on the market.

The battery-based system works with any make or model of truck.

How It Works

The independent battery bank is mounted on the frame rail

When its engine is running, a truck's alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy to charge the truck's starter batteries and, in turn, power A/C, heat, and other systems.

More often than not, the energy produced by the truck's alternator exceeds the amount of energy needed. This energy is usually wasted.

The battery-based Idle Free electric APU captures this energy and stores it in an independent battery bank consisting of four absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. The AGM battery bank is mounted on the frame rail using a specially-designed mount that requires only 18 inches of space (see image to the right).

When the truck engine is off, the driver can switch on the system by pressing a remote switch located in the bunk where the driver can easily reach it.

When the system is on, an inverter converts the 12 volt DC energy stored in the AGM battery bank into 120 volt AC electricity. This provides a constant source of electricity identical to what is delivered to homes for regular use.

Alternatively, the system can use the standard shore power outlet to tap an external electrical source, when available. Shore power can also be used to recharge the AGM battery bank and the truck's starter batteries (if the optional battery charger is included).

Configurations

The battery-based Idle Free electric APU comes in three configurations: combined heat and A/C for year-round idle elimination in all climates; heat-only; and A/C-only.

  • The standard and A/C-only configurations include a patent-pending A/C system that delivers 10,000 BTUs maximum output and can run for 10 or more hours. The A/C system consists of a condenser and compressor mounted on top of the battery bank on the frame rail and an evaporator located on or in a bunk closet. The components are connected by two pre-charged, quick-connect Freon lines that can be installed easily and without a certified A/C technician.
  • The standard and heat-only configurations include a heat system with a CARB-approved water heater mounted on top of the battery bank on the frame rail (standard configuration) or beneath the bunk (heat only configuration). The water heater, which is integrated into the truck's coolant system, delivers 17,000 BTUs to heat coolant and pumps it to the bunk, where it is distributed using the bunk's heater core and fan (or a separate heater core and fan). The coolant is also circulated to the truck's engine (and possibly the fuel tank), keeping both warm.
  • In all configurations, heat and/or A/C are controlled by a thermostat with simple push button controls and an easy-to-read digital display. An optional programmable timer, similar to the kind found in homes with central air and heat systems, can be used to set the temperature for up to seven days in advance.

Module Specifications

Frame Rail Unit

Description

The primary exterior system module. It comes pre-assembled with four system modules inside of it: the Battery Bank, the A/C Compressor, the A/C Condenser, and the the Water Heater.

Size

18"W X 22"D X 26"H

Location

Mounted on the frame rail on either side of the truck and on either side of each fuel tank. It occupies approximately 18" of frame rail space.

Power Module

Description

The primary interior system module. It comes pre-assembled with four system modules inside of it: the Control Module, the Inverter, the Fan Control Box, and the DC Power Bar.

Size

20.7"W X 11.2"D X 9.3"H

Location

Under the bed in the center of the bunk.

Evaporator

Description

Responsible for cooling (i.e., removing heat from) the air in the bunk and then circulating it with a built-in fan. It is designed specifically to be both small and quiet without sacrificing performance.

Size

17"W X 13.2"D X 7"H

Location

In the bunk on or in the closet (no ducting required).

Digital Thermostat

Description

Offers the driver push-button control over the A/C and heat systems. An optional programmable timer, similar to the kind found in homes with central air and heat systems, can be used to set the temperature for up to seven days in advance.

Location

In the bunk on one of the closet walls.

Idle Free Frame Rail Mount

Frame Rail Unit

Idle Free Power Module

Power Module

Idle Free Evaporator

Evaporator

Idle Free Thermostat

Digital Thermostat

Download the Idle Free Brochure

The independent battery bank is mounted on the frame rail

For more information about the benefits and specifications of the Idle Free electric APU, please review our latest brochure.

The brochure is available for download and printing as a PDF. Please click on the image to the left to download it.

For more information or to request a print version of our brochure, please visit the Contact Us page for contact information or to access our convenient online contact forms.