Delphi and Peterbilt Motors recently demonstrated a Peterbilt truck being powered by a Delphi solid oxide fuel cell auxiliary power unit, providing an average of 800 watts of electricity.
The SOFC technology addresses increasing anti-idling legislation and other proposals on commercial truck emissions, noise and fuel consumption. It is able to convert chemical energy in conventional fuels directly into electrical power without combustion, and also operates quietly at a higher efficiency level than traditional internal combustion engines.
The new technology is compatible with a variety of fuels, including natural gas, diesel, bio-diesel, propane, gasoline, coal-derived fuel and military logistics fuel and is also compact in size, according to the companies.
Idling uses .5 to 1 gallon of fuel per hour, according to PHH FirstFleet.