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Old 07-06-2006, 03:32 AM   #1
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Engine Insulation Yields Fuel Economy

Applying the laws of physics to the trucking industry, several science-savvy fleet managers have reduced fuel consumption, increased available horsepower and cut the amount of pollution that their trucks generate.

Central to these changes was the addition of the patented Q-Shield technology, a type of high-tech thermal insulation wrap, applied directly to air intake components under the hood, from American Diesel and Gas (ADG), based in Boca Raton, FL. The insulation limits the amount of surface heat that the truck engine gives off, thereby allowing cooler air to enter the truck's intake system.

In diesel engines, the insulation is applied to the direct air intake system, turbocharger, compressor, intercoolers and manifolds. In gasoline engines, it is applied to the direct air intake system, manifold and hood.

The basis of the improvements lies in simple laws of physics. Hotter air is thinner and contains a lower concentration of oxygen, both of which have an impact on the level of combustion that can take place inside the engine.

"Our technology prevents the intake air from being heated by the high temperature existing in the engine compartment. This intake air is then cooler and denser, increasing substantially the available oxygen content in the combustion chambers. The result is a more complete combustion," says Abbott Lighter, vice president of marketing at ADG.

The better the combustion, the greater the fuel efficiency and horsepower that the engine produces. In preliminary tests of the insulation, it was found to reduce fuel consumption in diesel engines by as much as 20 percent, and in gasoline engines by as much as 30 percent, while at the same time increasing horsepower by as much as 23 percent.

Refrigerated less-than-truckload carrier Mark Line Distributors, based in Pompano Beach, FL, tested the Q-Shield insulation on four of its trucks with Caterpillar C-15 engines in June of last year. The tests uncovered an average reduction in fuel consumption from 10.37 gallons per hour to 9.10, representing a 12.25 percent reduction. According to company estimates, that equates to an estimated savings of $3,661 in fuel costs per truck for every 10,000 miles driven.

Since the test, Mark Line has installed the Q-Shield system in eight of the 15 trucks in its fleet, and is steadily adding the insulation to all its trucks. "It's a definite performance enhancer, and when you burn the amount of fuel that we do, it's big. It can be the difference of a couple hundred dollars a trip," says J.R. Smiley, Mark Line's general manager.

Mark Line's trucks average about 150,000 miles a year, hauling products throughout the South. The trucks that have been wrapped so far have seen fuel mileage increases of between a quarter and a half a mile per gallon. They're now averaging about 6.5 miles per gallon, up from about six miles per gallon before the insulation.

A number of other tests on Detroit Diesel engines uncovered an increase in miles per gallon from 4.325 to 5.175, representing a 19.65 percent improvement. Tests on a Mack truck recorded a reduction in the number of gallons of fuel used in an hour from 6.67 to 5.14, representing a 22.94 percent difference. Both tests concluded that if used in a fleet of 50 trucks, annual fuel savings alone could amount to more than $2 million.

Dry van truckload carrier Arnold Transportation Services, Jackson-ville, FL, also tested the insulation on three of its trucks during a month in late 2003. On those vehicles, miles per gallon improved on average from 6.52 to 7.41, representing a 13.65 percent increase. The company, which runs a fleet of about 1,500 trucks, estimated that it could cut its weekly fuel consumption by about 1.5 million gallons across its entire fleet. At about $2.50 a gallon, the savings could be as much as $3.75 million a week.

Besides greater fuel economy, less heat under the hood also can extend the life of hoses, batteries, electronics and air conditioning systems. And the higher temperatures within the engine itself were found to have no negative effects on the metal in the engine or oil. In fact, "tests warrant that increases in metal and oil temperatures are modest and well within the guidelines set by the engine manufacturers," says Lighter.

As an added benefit, "the engine will also run cooler and quieter. The cab of the truck will be cooler, thereby increasing driver comfort," he says.

The insulation also will help engines meet new 2007 federal emissions regulations regarding the amount of nitrous oxide and particulate matter. The insulation causes higher temperatures inside the engine, thereby raising the temperature of the exhaust to more than 650 degrees. The higher temperatures at the muffler will burn off excess nitrogen oxide and particulates.

As engine manufacturers brace for new emissions regulations, their 2007 engines are supposed to generate 30 percent more heat than current engines, making insulation even more important.

A complete insulation kit costs about $1,500 per truck and takes an entire day for one person to install, but Mark Line's Smiley says it's more than worth it. "It's paying for itself in less than three months. If you're burning a lot of fuel and you can shave off some of the cost, it's worthwhile," he says.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:32 AM   #2
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Engine Insulation Yields Fuel Economy

Applying the laws of physics to the trucking industry, several science-savvy fleet managers have reduced fuel consumption, increased available horsepower and cut the amount of pollution that their trucks generate.

Central to these changes was the addition of the patented Q-Shield technology, a type of high-tech thermal insulation wrap, applied directly to air intake components under the hood, from American Diesel and Gas (ADG), based in Boca Raton, FL. The insulation limits the amount of surface heat that the truck engine gives off, thereby allowing cooler air to enter the truck's intake system.

In diesel engines, the insulation is applied to the direct air intake system, turbocharger, compressor, intercoolers and manifolds. In gasoline engines, it is applied to the direct air intake system, manifold and hood.

The basis of the improvements lies in simple laws of physics. Hotter air is thinner and contains a lower concentration of oxygen, both of which have an impact on the level of combustion that can take place inside the engine.

"Our technology prevents the intake air from being heated by the high temperature existing in the engine compartment. This intake air is then cooler and denser, increasing substantially the available oxygen content in the combustion chambers. The result is a more complete combustion," says Abbott Lighter, vice president of marketing at ADG.

The better the combustion, the greater the fuel efficiency and horsepower that the engine produces. In preliminary tests of the insulation, it was found to reduce fuel consumption in diesel engines by as much as 20 percent, and in gasoline engines by as much as 30 percent, while at the same time increasing horsepower by as much as 23 percent.

Refrigerated less-than-truckload carrier Mark Line Distributors, based in Pompano Beach, FL, tested the Q-Shield insulation on four of its trucks with Caterpillar C-15 engines in June of last year. The tests uncovered an average reduction in fuel consumption from 10.37 gallons per hour to 9.10, representing a 12.25 percent reduction. According to company estimates, that equates to an estimated savings of $3,661 in fuel costs per truck for every 10,000 miles driven.

Since the test, Mark Line has installed the Q-Shield system in eight of the 15 trucks in its fleet, and is steadily adding the insulation to all its trucks. "It's a definite performance enhancer, and when you burn the amount of fuel that we do, it's big. It can be the difference of a couple hundred dollars a trip," says J.R. Smiley, Mark Line's general manager.

Mark Line's trucks average about 150,000 miles a year, hauling products throughout the South. The trucks that have been wrapped so far have seen fuel mileage increases of between a quarter and a half a mile per gallon. They're now averaging about 6.5 miles per gallon, up from about six miles per gallon before the insulation.

A number of other tests on Detroit Diesel engines uncovered an increase in miles per gallon from 4.325 to 5.175, representing a 19.65 percent improvement. Tests on a Mack truck recorded a reduction in the number of gallons of fuel used in an hour from 6.67 to 5.14, representing a 22.94 percent difference. Both tests concluded that if used in a fleet of 50 trucks, annual fuel savings alone could amount to more than $2 million.

Dry van truckload carrier Arnold Transportation Services, Jackson-ville, FL, also tested the insulation on three of its trucks during a month in late 2003. On those vehicles, miles per gallon improved on average from 6.52 to 7.41, representing a 13.65 percent increase. The company, which runs a fleet of about 1,500 trucks, estimated that it could cut its weekly fuel consumption by about 1.5 million gallons across its entire fleet. At about $2.50 a gallon, the savings could be as much as $3.75 million a week.

Besides greater fuel economy, less heat under the hood also can extend the life of hoses, batteries, electronics and air conditioning systems. And the higher temperatures within the engine itself were found to have no negative effects on the metal in the engine or oil. In fact, "tests warrant that increases in metal and oil temperatures are modest and well within the guidelines set by the engine manufacturers," says Lighter.

As an added benefit, "the engine will also run cooler and quieter. The cab of the truck will be cooler, thereby increasing driver comfort," he says.

The insulation also will help engines meet new 2007 federal emissions regulations regarding the amount of nitrous oxide and particulate matter. The insulation causes higher temperatures inside the engine, thereby raising the temperature of the exhaust to more than 650 degrees. The higher temperatures at the muffler will burn off excess nitrogen oxide and particulates.

As engine manufacturers brace for new emissions regulations, their 2007 engines are supposed to generate 30 percent more heat than current engines, making insulation even more important.

A complete insulation kit costs about $1,500 per truck and takes an entire day for one person to install, but Mark Line's Smiley says it's more than worth it. "It's paying for itself in less than three months. If you're burning a lot of fuel and you can shave off some of the cost, it's worthwhile," he says.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:55 AM   #3
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Very interesting article, thank you for the submission....
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:53 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> A complete insulation kit costs about $1,500 per truck and takes an entire day for one person to install </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jim do you have this insulation kit on your truck? Pics would be nice to see.

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Old 07-06-2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Many modern engines have intercoolers and similar devices intended to cool the incoming air charge. They do help.

And modern computer controlled engines will have some type of sensor that measures the density of the incoming air (e.g. a Mass Air Flow sensor) and then adjusts the amount of air in the air/fuel mixture accordingly. This compensates for density changes and assures the proper air/fuel mix under a wide range of operating conditions. The correct air/fuel mix improves fuel economy and reduces emissions.
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