Arriva London Engineering assists in trial to turn older diesel engine powered buses green.
Arriva London is always striving to improve its green credentials, with over 25% of its buses already hybrids and more to come, plus running the only all electric route in London on route 312, any new ideas and technology that can accelerate these green goals is always welcome.
A new idea to turn older diesel engine buses into much more environmentally friendly vehicles has been developed by Vantage Power Ltd based in Greenford, West London in association with Ensign Ltd, the largest reseller of buses in the UK.
The new unit will start trials in July, when two of Arriva London’s 2005, Volvo B7TL, Euro 3 buses, with Alexander Dennis bodies, VLA99 and VLA100 will resume service following their conversion. The trials are fully supported by TfL.
The basic idea behind the unit, is that the old diesel unit that currently drives the wheels is removed, and a retrofit diesel/electric hybrid is fitted. In the new unit, the smaller diesel engine charges the batteries and this power is then used to drive the wheels. Further efficiencies are realised by using the motor that drives the bus in normal operation, as a generator when the bus is slowing down, having the effect of putting more power back into the battery pack, enabling the diesel engine to stay off for longer.
The new system will be tested to see how well it performs against its targets of 40% reduction in the use of fuel, 80%+ reduction in emissions, and a cost saving for the unit which is estimated to be 80% less than a new Hybrid bus.
Jon Harman, Arriva London’s Chief Engineer said:
“London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) requires all double deck buses to be hybrid/electric by 2020, so the challenges of reducing emissions when running such a large fleet are significant.
What’s particularly exciting about this initiative is that Vantage Power have developed a retrofit hybrid pack that has the potential to extend the life of conventional diesel vehicles, that would otherwise become non-compliant. The system they have developed is packed into a cradle and fits into the same space and fixes to the same mounting points as the outgoing powertrain, thus negating the need for any cutting, welding or relocating of components in the vehicle.
As well as testing of the hybrid retrofit system, the trial will also test another key feature of this system, which is geo-fence technology. This technology, uses GPS information combined with route information, and can enable the vehicle to ensure its batteries are at full charge before entering certain areas (such as the ULEZ), or past schools, or libraries, and upon entering these areas, the engine can shut itself down and the vehicle then operate as an almost silent ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle). Any new initiative which assists us in achieving this target is very welcome, and we look forward to being involved in this trial in a very practical way, by converting two of our buses and running them in service for the trial”.
Published : Fri 3rd Feb. 2017 - Wed 15th Mar. 2017
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