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TheDrive
New Member

7 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2017 :  6:25:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello, all. Love the magazine! this is my first post. We are a small school district in northern Utah. We were recently contacted by a local company about some idle reduction equipment they make. They claim their product will allow my drivers to keep the heat in their buses blowing for 1 hour without having to have the engines on He said that their system doesn't use an external heater and uses no fuel and doesn't produce any emissions. Anyone have any equipment like that on their buses? How well does it work for you? It gets COLD up here in the winter and my drivers are idling a lot to keep the heat going. The salesmen also said that 1 hour of idling wastes about a gallon of diesel. Does that sound right? I talked to our mechanic and he said it was possible but wasn't sure. I called a few of my counterparts and they have not heard of a system like this so I thought I would post about it here and see if anyone has a system like this installed on their fleet.

krmvcs
Advanced Member

261 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2017 :  07:17:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome. I worked for UTA several years back so I know what you mean. And webastos/proheat can be a chore on maintenance though effective. Does UT have idle rules in school zones? Not sure about the fuel consumption rate either but Im sure the system manufactures should provide that spec. And what is this magic heater system? I assume its electric.

-Ken-
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exmod110
Senior Member

73 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2017 :  12:43:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit exmod110's Homepage  Reply with Quote
uses no fuel and has no emissions??? Got any links to their product?
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TheDrive
New Member

7 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2017 :  12:22:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by exmod110

uses no fuel and has no emissions??? Got any links to their product?


Hi, all. Sorry for the late reply. We hit another cold snap in Utah this week (snow today). So the company who makes it offered to install a free demo unit on one of my buses so I could try it out. I took them up on their offer and I wanted to have more info before I replied back. The way the guy explained it to me was (forgive me I’m not a mechanic) basically the system is electric but It uses the already hot engine coolant that is in the engine and I guess there is a very specific way they manage the coolant so they can draw the heat out of it for a long period of time after the engine shuts down. They didn’t install any new fans or heaters or anything on the bus. They just connected to the factory fans that were already on the bus. The unit was not very big (about the size of a cleanex box) and it was mounted by the main fuse panel box on the driver's side.
What I do know is when we parked and turned the engine off the bus fans came on automatically and we got nice heat out of the vents for about 40-45 minutes straight before the driver and I had to move to the next run. I was blown away! We didn’t need to turn the engine on at all during that time. My driver told me she normally gets cold after about 5 minutes in the bus and normally leaves the bus and walks around the Walmart until her next run starts (or restarts the engine and idles but I know she wouldn’t admit to it). I asked the guy if this can kill the batteries? He said because there is no heating unit it draws only like 7-10 watts or amps every hour (sorry I don’t remember what one) and the batteries on the bus are rated for something like 250 hours. I asked what happened if the driver left the system on? He said the system will automatically shut off after a pre-set amount of time I choose. He also said they offer a feature where the system can sense battery voltage and shut itself off before the batteries get too low to start the engine. Any thoughts guys? I’m starting to get sold here!
Oh...to answer your first question…Basically, all the school districts in Northern Utah have gone "Idle Free" in school zones. Salt Lake City has a no idle law for everyone (police, fire, etc. excluded) where you can get a ticket for idling too long. We expect to see other cities follow with the same soon. My district has a no idle rule but I know for a fact that drivers ignore the rule when its cold (I don't blame them). The no idle rule for us is basically a money saving measure and not really clean air thing but it's a win/win if I can get my drivers to do it!
The company that makes the unit is called Idle Free Heat https://www.idlefreeheat.com/
https://www.idlefreeheat.com/
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TheDrive
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7 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2017 :  12:25:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by exmod110

uses no fuel and has no emissions??? Got any links to their product?


https://www.idlefreeheat.com/
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AlexW
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4 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2017 :  11:06:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit AlexW's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that information thedrive. We have been looking for something like this. I called this company today and talked with a guy named Joel. He explained the system operation much as you did. Confirmed that the system uses no fuel and doesn't produce any emissiooms. He also mentioned the 1 hour of fuel burnt f
every hour spent idiling. I asked him where he got that info and he said it comes from the DOE.
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AlexW
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4 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2017 :  08:08:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit AlexW's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that information thedrive. We have been looking for something like this. I called this company today and talked with a guy named Joel. He explained the system operation much as you did. Confirmed that the system uses no fuel and doesn't produce any emissiooms. He also mentioned the 1 hour of fuel burnt f
every hour spent idiling. I asked him where he got that info and he said it comes from the DOE.
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TheDrive
New Member

7 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2017 :  10:23:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AlexW

Thanks for that information thedrive. We have been looking for something like this. I called this company today and talked with a guy named Joel. He explained the system operation much as you did. Confirmed that the system uses no fuel and doesn't produce any emissiooms. He also mentioned the 1 hour of fuel burnt f
every hour spent idiling. I asked him where he got that info and he said it comes from the DOE.

I can keep you posted about how much fuel we are saving. looks like our cold snap is over so my drivers won't be idling as much to keep the heat going. I have seen some of those statistics from the department of energy. I just dont know if I believe the statistic about 1 gallon of fuel for every hour spent idling. Anyone have any input on this?
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krmvcs
Advanced Member

261 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2017 :  07:15:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AlexW

Thanks for that information thedrive. We have been looking for something like this. I called this company today and talked with a guy named Joel. He explained the system operation much as you did. Confirmed that the system uses no fuel and doesn't produce any emissiooms. He also mentioned the 1 hour of fuel burnt f
every hour spent idiling. I asked him where he got that info and he said it comes from the DOE.



Cummins Insite will tell you what your fuel consumption is at idle. Dont know if the other manufacturer diag programs will but id assume they do.

-Ken-
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BPWags
New Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2017 :  12:31:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good Afternoon,

Any chance you can share a ballpark cost for this item?

Sounds like a great product depending on the cost.

Thanks,
BPWags
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TheDrive
New Member

7 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2017 :  2:15:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BPWags

Good Afternoon,

Any chance you can share a ballpark cost for this item?

Sounds like a great product depending on the cost.

Thanks,
BPWags


If I remember correctly it was $980 per bus. They did offer a few discounts and incentives for us that I don't know if they will offer anyone els. I know the price does very based on how many blower motors you want to run. So far so good for us! It's mid May here in Utah and it's snowing today so we are still using the systems.
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krmvcs
Advanced Member

261 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2017 :  2:54:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Im still confused. How does this thing keep a bus warm for that long just running the fans? Seems a bit gimmicky to me. Unless it is an actual heater, the driver can just as well flip a couple switches instead of spending $1000.

-Ken-
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TheDrive
New Member

7 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2017 :  9:20:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by krmvcs

Im still confused. How does this thing keep a bus warm for that long just running the fans? Seems a bit gimmicky to me. Unless it is an actual heater, the driver can just as well flip a couple switches instead of spending $1000.

Ken, I hear you. I thought the same thing when they first approached me. I don't fully understand how it works...but it works. When we don't have the system turned on and we just run our fans we lose heat in about 2 minutes. I think the fans have more to do with what areas of the bus you want to keep warm. If you have kids on the bus during idle times then you would want to have some of the under-seat heaters going to keep the back of the bus warm. If it's just the driver then you might only want the front fans to come on. I'm not an expert on the system but what I can tell you is the demo system they installed on our bus does what they said it would do. The driver who is using the bus now has told me she gets 1 hour of warm air out of the bus and doesn't need to idle the bus anymore. Here is a video I pulled off of their website https://youtu.be/4rUUSEruWZY it might give you a better Idea.
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AlexW
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2017 :  9:03:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit AlexW's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by krmvcs

Im still confused. How does this thing keep a bus warm for that long just running the fans? Seems a bit gimmicky to me. Unless it is an actual heater, the driver can just as well flip a couple switches instead of spending $1000.

I sent this company an email about this topic and this is the reply that I got back “Our system is different than other systems on the market. This is because our system is not an external heater but rather it’s a heat reclaiming device. Our system uses no fuel, produces zero emissions and requires no maintenance. Your engine block is a gigantic heat storage device. Our patent pending technology lets you extract the heat from the engine block that would normally just dissipate into the air and use it while the engine is off.”
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TheDrive
New Member

7 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2017 :  08:41:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit TheDrive's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We had another cold snap last week(snow in late May...welcome to Utah!) so I wanted to update everyone. I created a spreadsheet that tracks fuel usage in the bus with the system installed on it. There is a definite difference in fuel consumption on days that we use the system. We are basically using 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons less on cold days when we use the system vs when we don't. That tells me we are idiling 1-1.5 hours per day to keep our drivers warm.
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AlexW
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2017 :  10:34:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit AlexW's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheDrive

We had another cold snap last week(snow in late May...welcome to Utah!) so I wanted to update everyone. I created a spreadsheet that tracks fuel usage in the bus with the system installed on it. There is a definite difference in fuel consumption on days that we use the system. We are basically using 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons less on cold days when we use the system vs when we don't. That tells me we are idiling 1-1.5 hours per day to keep our drivers warm.

We get late spring snow storms up this way also. Kills my tomato plants every few years Anyway thanks for the updates. We are having this system installed on some of our buses. I will update this thread when we have some new information to report
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