Photo of Kenworth T680 by Jim Park.

Photo of Kenworth T680 by Jim Park.

Kenworth will offer an ultracapacitor-based engine start module from Maxwell for increased performance and better protection against battery drainage, the company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The company will also begin offering an optional inverter with charging capability and an automatic, battery-monitoring engine startup feature for the Kenworth idle management system.

The Engine Start Module is offered as a factory installed option for Kenworth T680s and T880s. The ESM provides dedicated power to start the truck, which frees the standard batteries for powering accessory devices.

The ESM is designed to start an engine in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 149 degrees Fahrenheit even when the batteries have low voltage.

The inverter is an 1,800-watt inverter with charging capability. It provides drivers with AC power in the sleeper for running appliances, entertainment systems, and other devices.

The inverter’s charging capability allows a driver to plug the truck into shore power at a truck stop, home or terminal and charge the batteries. It comes with a control panel in the sleeper for on/off switching and displays battery status. The inverter is optional for the idle management system with the T680 76-inch sleeper.

Kenworth’s idle management system is a battery-based APU system for air conditioning and is integrated directly with the T680’s ducting system. It's designed to keep the cab and sleeper comfortable for up to 10 hours. There is also an optional fuel-fired heater to provide heating capability with the engine off.

Later in the year, Kenworth will add an auto start-and-stop function to the idle management system for automatic battery monitoring and engine startup when battery levels reach a minimum charge. Once the batteries are sufficiently charged, the system will shut the engine off and run on pure battery power again.