Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) are small, efficient generator units that are capable of producing the power needed to keep the cabin’s climate control running, interior appliance powered, etc without the need to run the truck’s engine. APU units can affect a fleet company’s bottom line where the operating costs of heavy-duty commercial vehicles are concerned. That’s why it’s important to choose the right APU power source.
Browse through ThermoKings’s Auxiliary Power Units (APU) here: https://thermoking.ca/auxiliary-power-units/
Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) offer increased driver comfort, greater fuel savings, better driver recruitment/retention, idle reduction, lowered maintenance costs and higher tractor residual values. The APU provides the energy to turn on the heater, the AC, and even the TV without having to keep the truck in idle mode. Which APU will work best for a truck or fleet company depends on fleet drivers needs and the size of the vehicle. Here are a few key differences between the two types of APUs:
Electric vs Combustion Powered APUs: Which APU is Best
The APU market is essentially divided into two types of power sources: combustion-power and all-electric (battery power). Although most combustion-powered APUs are fueled by diesel, there are units available that operate on alternative fuels, such as natural gas and propane autogas.
With diesel-powered APUs, there’s virtually unlimited power available to heat and cool as long as fuel is in the APU. Battery-powered APUs have the advantage of no noise, but have limited run times. The diesel-powered APUs are still more commonly used as per major fleet companies. Also, electric-powered APUs require minimal maintenance on an annual or scheduled basis, in contrast to diesel APUs.
“With the electric APU, you have a captive amount of energy,” said Paul Barbaro, product manager, auxiliary power units for Thermo King, which manufactures both APU types. “You have four APU batteries, with limited ability to bridge off the tractor batteries, so you have limited heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) capability. When the core batteries in the electric APU completely lose their charge, there’s no way to instantly start the unit back up again and create more capacity.”
ThermoKing offers a diesel APU, the TriPac Evolution, and an electric APU, the TriPac Envidia. “The diesel APU would require more preventive maintenance, including oil and belt changes,” said Steve DeLarosby, Thermo King’s APU product manager, “while the electric APU tends to cycle the batteries more frequently resulting in an increased battery replacement.”
Further he also said that “For drivers who spend maybe only up to a few nights at a time on the road, use moderate amounts of electrical power for appliances and accessories, accomplish their driver reset at home, and get good amounts of drive time each day allowing them to fully recharge their APU batteries, an electric APU could be a good fit,”.
An APU can be added to a truck as an aftermarket purchase or ordered from the major truck manufacturers as an option on a new truck.
About Thermo King Eastern Canada
Thermo King Eastern Canada is a leading authorized Thermo King dealer and comprehensive transport refrigeration and heating specialist servicing all of Eastern Canada including Ontario (Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto, Markham, Burlington, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Hamilton and surrounding areas), Quebec and the Maritime provinces. Thermo King is the world leader in transport temperature control systems for Trucks, Trailers, Buses, Rail Cars and Cargo Shipping Containers. Thermo King also manufactures auxiliary power units for Trucks that help reduce engine idling to improve driver comfort during layovers. Thermo King products are backed by factory trained service technicians and a complete line of genuine and competitive parts.