DOE SuperTruck utilizes ORNL technology to boost fuel economy

DOE SuperTruck utilizes ORNL technology to boost fuel economy

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DOE SuperTruck DOE SuperTruck (hi-res image)
April 3, 2013 — The Department of Energy’s SuperTruck, recently hailed by President Obama as the energy efficient truck of the future, uses technology from DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that leads to improved fuel economy.

David Koberlein of Cummins Engines said the truck has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and decrease greenhouse gases.

“We improved fuel economy with this truck by 75 percent,” Koberlein said during a recent visit to Oak Ridge with the truck. “Our freight efficiency was increased by 86 percent. With heavy trucking being one of the largest consumers of national fuel, that lowers the cost structure of the fleet and it has an economic benefit to the nation.”

ORNL’s Bill Partridge said the lab developed an instrument that can measure internal exhaust flow, which is key to running the engine efficiently.

“We made a laser-based diagnostic that was used to assess the combustion uniformity of this engine,” Partridge said. “The engine doesn’t just breathe fresh air. It also breathes a mixture of fresh air and exhaust. You want that charge of intake of fresh air and exhaust to be very uniform.”

Koberlein and Partridge agree the Oak Ridge technology is critical in order to achieve the enhanced energy efficiency.

ORNL was part of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck team that included Modine, Purdue University, U.S. Xpress, Eaton , Bergstrom, and Goodyear. The SuperTruck program was sponsored by the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office with private matching contributions from Cummins, Peterbilt, and their program partners.
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UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit .