Dometic Environmental Corp. has developed a new battery-powered auxiliary air conditioning system, designed specifically for day cabs,
in response to growing demand for cost-effective solutions to reduce idling while waiting to load and unload at terminals.

Based on Dometic's patented split-system HVAC technology, the 7,000-BTU day cab air conditioning system provides two hours of cooling without running the truck's engine. It uses a bank of Group 31 absorbed glass mat batteries, instead of a diesel genset, as its power source. Since it emits no exhaust, it fully complies with the California Air Resources Board's new idling regulations.

"Trucks waiting at a shipping terminal or warehouse are subject to state and local idling restrictions, not only in California, but increasingly in other jurisdictions too," said Lou Siegel, senior vice president, marketing and strategic business development. "In addition, owner-operators and fleet owners are actively searching for ways to cut fuel and maintenance costs by reducing idle time. That's why we developed this system, which is tailored to the specific requirements of day cab fleets and owner/operators."

The Dometic air conditioning system consists of a compressor/evaporator/blower unit that fits between the seats, and a ruggedized external condensing unit that mounts on the back of the cab or under the truck. The inside unit has a molded composite cover to protect the unit from spills and to provide additional noise abatement. The digital thermostat control panel is mounted on top of the unit for easy driver access. The inside and outside units are connected by reusable precharged refrigerant linesets with quick-connect fittings, which are designed to provide automatic charging to the correct pressures at hookup. No additional charging is needed, and no special tools are required for installation.

The Dometic turnkey package includes a 2,000-watt inverter that converts 12-volt battery output to high-voltage AC power to run the air conditioner, and a high-capacity alternator with external regulator that charges the batteries quickly and keeps them fully charged when the engine is running and the truck is moving from terminal to terminal. No additional batteries are needed for the system, but existing batteries will need to be AGM type.