DETROIT – The City of Detroit ambulance fleet is going green.Last summer, over the summer, the city partnered with NextEnergy and Navitas Systems to retrofit 31 city ambulances with auxiliary power units, saving the City money and improving air quality.
The upgrades are funded by a $1 million grant from the
Michigan Department of Transportation�s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.
Detroit partnered with NextEnergy, one of the nation�s leading business and
technology accelerators, to engage Navitas to implement the new technology.
Equipping nearly its entire fleet with this technology will
put the Detroit Fire Department � EMS Division at the forefront among fire
departments nationwide in the effort to reduce fuel consumption and carbon
emissions. Installation of the APUs is expected to begin October 1 and be
completed by spring 2016.
The PowerForce solution consists of a set of Navitas
Ultanium Group 31 deep-cycle lithium batteries, a battery-powered heating and
air-conditioning system, and electronics which provide usage information to
both the driver and the fleet manager. The system includes voltage sensors to
automatically turn the engine on during a low state of charge.
A standard truck engine consumes between one half and one
gallon of fuel per hour during idling. Ambulances typically idle for
approximately 30 minutes while attending to an emergency. Leaving the
engine running provides the energy necessary to power lighting, communications,
heating/air conditioning, and onboard medical equipment. The same amount of
time is spent idling at a hospital. In both locations, significant pollution is
generated, which can adversely affect medical staff and patients alike.
Here�s how the new system works: The PowerForce idle
reduction battery system, manufactured by Navitas Systems, allows ambulance
operators to run auxiliary equipment with the main engine off. This will reduce
idling time, conserve fuel and reduce pollution. By reducing the time an
ambulance spends idling, the APUs also will extend its life expectancy by
reducing wear and tear on the engine.