Prestolite Electric’s Leece-Neville IdlePro Extreme 350- and 420-amp alternators will be offered as standard on Blue Bird’s All American RE Diesel and CNG-powered school buses and optional for models using a Cummins 2021 engine. - Photo courtesy Prestolite Electric

Prestolite Electric’s Leece-Neville IdlePro Extreme 350- and 420-amp alternators will be offered as standard on Blue Bird’s All American RE Diesel and CNG-powered school buses and optional for models using a Cummins 2021 engine.

Photo courtesy Prestolite Electric

Blue Bird is making standard and optional the integration of Prestolite Electric’s Leece-Neville IdlePro Extreme 350- and 420-amp alternators on several of its school buses.

The alternators will be offered as standard equipment on Blue Bird’s All American Rear Engine (RE) Diesel and compressed natural gas- (CNG) powered school buses and optional equipment for models using a Cummins 2021 engine, according to a news release from Prestolite Electric.

“Our longstanding partnership with Blue Bird helps to develop alternators and starters that meet and exceed the school bus industry’s unique charging system requirements,” said Allan Vincent, Prestolite Electric’s OEM sales director.

The Cummins 2021 engine designs found on Blue Bird All American RE Diesel and CNG-powered buses reportedly require a specific approach to its corresponding charging systems. This particular bus model and engine combination, according to Prestolite Electric, uses electric fans that are powered by the IdlePro Extreme alternators to cool the radiator.

For applications utilizing a Cummins L9 or B6.7 300-horsepower engine equipped with a six-fan cooling system and the lower horsepower engines of the same design with air-conditioning will be offered with the IdlePro Extreme 350-amp alternator as standard equipment. For bus models running a 2021 Cummins L9N engine — a design known to produce more heat and a corresponding eight-fan cooling system ­— the IdlePro Extreme 420-amp alternator will be offered as standard, according to Prestolite Electric.

Additional features of the IdlePro Extreme 350- and 420-amp alternators include:

  • Remote sense capabilities that allow the battery to return to a full charge between stops and reduces overall charging time.
  • Auxiliary draft cooling, which features a special fan and front housing design and integration for temperature control of the front bearing. The front bearing is kept 10° Celsius cooler as compared to traditional external fan designs, according to Prestolite Electric.
  • Isolated ground technology to reduce stray voltage currents traveling through the engine.
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