January 28, 2013

Tests: Voith technology saves fuel use

Field tests for Voith’s SensoTop transmission technology showed impressive results, saving transit authorities up to 7% in fuel use for their heavy-duty transit buses. Savings were achieved across multiple transit authorities and routes varying in elevation and length.

SensoTop represents an updated version of the software used to control Voith’s DIWA.5 transmission. When combined with a maintenance-free inclination sensor that Voith has added to its ECU, this software allows the transmission to automatically adapt gear-shifting points based on acceleration, vehicle load and the topography of the route.

SensoTop is available for immediate retrofit on all existing Voith DIWA.5 transmissions, and will be offered on new buses this year. Through a collaborative effort, SensoTop has been approved for use with all Cummins engines.

Field tests were completed in Austin, Texas; Lancaster, Pa.; Minneapolis; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; and San Mateo County, Calif. These tests occurred over several weeks, and each location experienced fuel savings of 3% to 7%. Over one particular week, Minneapolis saw savings over 12%. Based on Voith’s tests and calculations, one of the transit authorities involved in the test can expect to save over $1,700 per year per bus by installing SensoTop technology, which would translate into over $560,000 in yearly savings if the entire fleet were equipped with SensoTop transmissions.

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