U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

Tennessee Conserves Fuel With Truck Stop Electrification (Text Version)

This is a text version of the Clean Cities TV video segment Tennessee Conserves Fuel With Truck Stop Electrification.

DAVE GARDY: Hi, I'm Dave Gardy for Clean Cities TV, the educational Internet TV channel of the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program. CCTV features videos about projects of Clean Cities coalitions around the country like this one involving East Tennessee Clean Fuels.

Many counties in east Tennessee are failing to meet EPA air quality standards designed to protect public health. Diesel trucks contribute significant amounts of air pollutants into the atmosphere. To help reduce these emissions, the East Tennessee Clean Fuels coalition collaborated with EcoTravel Plaza in an idle reduction project at the truck stop on the heavily travelled Route 40 in Crossville.

The team used an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant and other funds to install truck stop electrification equipment at all of its 50 truck parking spots. They installed AireDock climate control equipment along with electrical shore power units and solar panels. Considering the high volume of truck traffic on the Route 40 east-west corridor, if the equipment at EcoTravel Plaza is used just over half the time during the next 10 years, significant emissions reductions could be achieved.

Nitrous oxide emissions could be reduced by 337 tons, particulate matter reduced by 10 tons, hydrocarbons by 24 tons, carbon monoxide by 144 tons, and carbon dioxide reduced by an amazing 21,818 tons.

The AireDock equipment heats or cools a truck cab without idling the engine. Turning off the vehicles reduces fuel use by up to one gallon per hour for each truck. Roger Southall, sales manager for AireDock, demonstrates how easily the system is attached to a truck.

ROGER SOUTHALL: The face plate is pulled out, and the temperature can be adjusted from the thermostat that's here. You can either lower or increase the temperature. Under the plate, there is standard power to run all the appliances that are in the cab. Also externally, you've got the ability to power appliances on the outside but also for an engine block. And then you just take the face plate, bring it towards the cab, and place it in the window. And then it shuts, and it fits in the window. And away it goes.

Jonathan Overly, executive director of Eastern Tennessee Clean Fuels describes what happens inside the truck cab.

JONATHAN OVERLY: Roger Southall from AireDock installed it in the window. It's pretty simple. It's blowing good, cold air right now. It may take 10 to 15 minutes to start getting the whole cabin cooled down, especially with the doors closed. Then here's the power he has on the inside. It's pretty simple and straight forward, allowing him to turn off the idling diesel engine, reduce emissions, use American fuel, and have the comforts that he needs to sleep restfully. Pretty simple.

DAVE GARDY: Michael Broyles with the North American Truck Stop Network, an association of truck stops, comments on the benefits to trucking companies.

MICHAEL BROYLES: It saves them money on fuel. It saves them money as far as wear and tear on their trucks and things—their engines. And it's just a much more peaceful rest for the drivers when they're spending the night and not having to idle.

DAVE GARDY: Jonathan Overly talks about the Shorepower units installed to give drivers electricity when they don't need heat or AC.

JONATHAN OVERLY: If you lift up the lid and look on the side, you'll see several units for household current and then a 30-amp power outlet, and then the necessary circuit breakers to turn the equipment on and off. So these are the simpler systems for the future of trucking. If the truck has the powering ability, he can just plug in here—reduce emissions locally, reduce greenhouse gasses, use American fuel, save money for the truck driver. So it all comes back to the truck driver. It's really a win-win situation, and we combine the AireDock units with these Shorepowers at this site to make it a unique site and offer the trucker just what he needs.

DAVE GARDY: Pete Vash, engineering manager for LightWave Solar Electric, talks about the solar panels his company installed on the canopies over both the diesel and gasoline pumps.

PETE VASH: The solar system that you see combined will produce about 42,000 kilowatt hours a year, and that's about the same amount of power that 4 to 5 average homes would consume—just to give you a general sense of the capacity. And all the solar panels and the solar inverter was manufactured right here in the good old United States of America—very happy about that.

DAVE GARDY: Alan Jones, manager of the Environmental Policy Office for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, sums up the benefits of the new equipment to the state.

ALAN JONES: The benefits are huge. We reduce our dependence on petroleum, we reduce emissions, and truckers and trucking companies save money. So the advantages are many, and I hope that this grand opening today is like a beginning so that we see more successful openings of these facilities across the state, across the country, along interstate corridors, and where truckers travel

DAVE GARDY: It's great when technology solves environmental problems and even better if it saves money at the same time. Let's hope such systems are widely adopted across the country. I'm Dave Gardy for Clean Cities TV.