The Idle Free electric APU runs on alternating current, eliminating the need to use the truck's starter batteries to power the APU.
Electric APUs that run on direct current suffer from lower efficiency, which translates to shorter APU battery life, less run time, and, most problematic, the risk that the APU could jeopardize the truck's ability to start. D/C-based systems, due to their higher amperage draw for the air conditioner, rely on the truck's starter batteries as an additional power source to run the APU. Operating the APU risks draining the truck's starter batteries and therefore not being able to start the truck, negatively impacting productivity.
Idle Free's A/C-based electric APU, on the other hand, is a more efficient system, resulting in longer APU battery life and completely eliminating any need to use the truck's starter batteries to power the APU. The A/C-based system means the truck's batteries will never be drained by the APU.
The Idle Free APU has been the preferred choice of many fleets throughout North America. Allen Gattis, Research and Development Manager/APU Manager for Mesilla Valley Transportation, based in Las Cruces, NM, says that the system's ability to meet all driver needs coupled with its efficiency and reliability make Idle Free a good investment.
"Running the Idle Free APU, we know that we can reliably meet the needs of the driver without ever compromising the productivity of the truck," he said. Any anti-idling solution we choose absolutely has to satisfy those needs while also reducing operating costs. We have been very happy with Idle Free."
By virtue of its more efficient use of energy and longer battery life, the Idle Free system is maintenance-free, requiring only an annual check of the heaters fuel filter, which means fleet owners can keep their trucks on the road.
"Most importantly, we want our customers to know that this is a system they can rely on to help them get the most out of their company's asset -- the truck itself," Hopton says.
Idle Free Systems Inc. has been recognized locally and nationally for their innovation, entrepreneurial leadership, and environmental responsibility. Since 2006, Idle Free has been endorsed by Mack Trucks as their recommended idle elimination solution. The Idle Free System can currently be seen on Mack Trucks' PinnacleTM SmartWay-verified series of sleeper trucks.
Idle Free Systems has twice been awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) loan for green manufacturing, by the Wisconsin State Energy Program. ARRA recipients are determined through a rigorous application process including financial reviews and reviews of manufacturing process to assess not only which organizations can use these federal funds to promote green manufacturing, but which organizations are equipped do so within a sustainable business model. To qualify, an organization must demonstrate both environmental responsibility and financial responsibility.
"Building a green business is a great goal, and environmental responsibility is important to our business model," says Hopton, "But, companies need a way to be green without sacrificing the financial well-being of their business. The Idle Free system gives fleets the opportunity to do something about reducing the world's carbon footprint as well as improve their bottom line."
In 2010, Idle Free Systems was also recognized as one of the Wisconsin Companies to Watch by the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network. The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network selects its honorees for their innovation, exceptional leadership, and sustainable business practices.