Modine develops parts for “SuperTruck” program

Racine-based Modine Manufacturing Company announced it is developing a series of compact waste recovery heat exchangers for a Department of Energy-sponsored program.

 
The heat exchangers are designed to capture waste heat from the exhaust stream of a diesel engine and convert this heat into useful power to improve engine efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, the company said. 

Modine has been involved in a Department of Energy-sponsored program called SuperTruck and has provided these heat exchangers to a Cummins-Peterbilt concept vehicle for comprehensive road testing.

“Fuel economy and the reduction of CO2 emissions are two strong technology drivers that will create many opportunities for Modine heat exchanger technology in the future,” noted Jonathan Wattelet, Modine’s global director of research and technical services. “The SuperTruck public-private partnership sponsored by the Department of Energy has been an excellent opportunity to leverage our research in areas where longer-term research is too risky to undertake alone. Working with engine and commercial vehicle leaders such as Cummins and Peterbilt has been an outstanding opportunity for Modine to obtain much-needed engine test cell and road testing experience for our newly developed heat exchanger technology.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) initiated the multi-year SuperTruck program in 2010 with the goal of designing a heavy-duty Class 8 truck that achieves a 50 percent improvement in overall freight efficiency. Class 8 trucks represent only about four percent of the on-road vehicles in the United States but are responsible for almost 20 percent of the country’s on-road fuel consumption.

The Cummins-Peterbilt collaboration was one of several DOE-selected partner projects. The objectives of this partnership were to develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced Rankine-based waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor-trailer combination, and an auxiliary power unit (APU) to reduce engine idling. Cummins and Peterbilt selected Modine to provide the heat exchangers for the waste heat recovery system.

“Our research engineers utilized Modine’s technology building blocks to develop highly compact heat exchangers to meet the thermal management and space requirements of this new challenge,” said Lawrence Gabbey, Modine research engineering section manager and program manager for the SuperTruck program. “Leveraging the success of this demonstration program, Modine continues to develop this waste heat recovery technology in preparation for future commercial opportunities around the globe in the commercial vehicle and automotive markets.”

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