January 8, 2013

Prevost adds energy management system

Prevost introduced PRIME (Power Recovery by Intelligent Management of Energy), an energy management system that reduces fuel consumption by using the engine down time (braking, deceleration and other negative torque situations) to charge the batteries and compress air.

PRIME focuses on eliminating parasitic loads on the engine by intelligent management of the alternators and air compressor duty cycle. Instead of constantly charging, the alternator uses engine negative torque (braking, deceleration) to generate “Free” electricity.

Depending on the air requirement, PRIME will also trigger the production of compressed air on negative torque. PRIME utilizes readily available, maintenance-free Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries and a Vanner 80 series battery equalizer. AGM batteries can take repetitive deep discharges and are proven to be very durable (over 400 cycles). They can last up to four times longer than lead-acid batteries. These batteries require no maintenance and are sealed and spill-proof.

The battery equalizer monitors the battery State of Charge (SOC). Battery temperature, voltage and current are also monitored to prevent overcharging and overheating. Based on the state of charge of batteries, the software will determine if batteries need immediate charging or if it can wait until the next zero load on the engine to trigger battery charging using free energy. This intelligent management of energy allows Prevost to maximize battery life based on its inherent characteristics. This project marks a milestone in the energy management of Prevost coaches.

PRIME energy management brings various benefits to operators, including improved fuel economy. It also has an estimated fuel savings of 2%, which will vary by duty cycle. Results have been validated in real driving conditions and with various duty cycles, and some test vehicles showed fuel savings much higher than 2%, according to Prevost.

In addition, PRIME results in decreased lifecycle costs. AGM Batteries have a longer lifecycle and require less maintenance, according to Prevost. These batteries are sealed and required no maintenance for its complete lifetime.

PRIME will be an option on upcoming 2014 model H-Series seated coaches and X-Series seated coaches. It will be will be standard on 2014 model H3-45 VIP and X3-45 VIP conversion coaches.

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