Overview

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

The reefer-based Idle Free electric APU is the complete, year-round, one-of-a-kind electric APU solution for sleepers and day cabs pulling a refrigerated trailer.

This system uses patented Reefer Link™ technology to make energy from the reefer unit available to drivers. Drivers can then use this energy to:

  • Power A/C and heat systems
  • Provide 120 volt AC electricity for televisions, microwaves, and other hotel needs
  • Keep the truck engine warm
  • Provide backup alternator power for both the reefer unit and the truck's starter batteries in the event one or the other fails

The reefer-based Idle Free electric APU offers unlimited run time and works with any make or model of truck.

The 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.

How It Works

When a refrigerated trailer is transporting temperature-controlled cargo, the reefer unit generates a continuous stream of energy to ensure that the trailer temperature remains within a consistent, pre-set range.

More often than not, the reefer unit produces more energy than is needed to maintain the desired temperature. This energy is usually wasted.

The reefer-based Idle Free electric APU makes this energy from the reefer unit available when the truck engine isn't running. This is accomplished using the patented Reefer Link™ technology, which "links" the reefer unit to system modules.

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 originally produced by the reefer unit into 120 volt AC electricity. This provides a constant source of 120 volt 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.

Configurations

The reefer-based system 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. 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 three system modules inside of it: the A/C Compressor, the A/C Condenser, and the the Water Heater.

Size

18"W X 22.5"D X 14"H

Weight

86 pounds

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

22.2"W X 15.6"D X 10"H

Weight

23 pounds

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

Weight

21 pounds

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.

Reefer Link™

Description

Patented technology at the heart of the reefer-based Idle Free electric APU. It provides the "link" that makes the energy from the reefer unit available to meet a driver's needs. It is also what provides backup alternator power for both the reefer unit and the truck's starter batteries in the event one or the other fails.

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 Reefer-Based System Brochure

The Idle Free Reefer Link Brochure

For more information about the benefits and specifications of the reefer-based 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.