Efficient alternators give truckers green alternative

Engineering advancements are producing more efficient alternators for heavy trucks and helping to reduce the fuel bills of company fleets. Truck-leasing provider Aim ­NationaLease says these improvements include better cooling […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Engineering advancements are producing more efficient alternators for heavy trucks and helping to reduce the fuel bills of company fleets.

Truck-leasing provider Aim ­NationaLease says these improvements include better cooling thanks to add­itional wound metal coils which reduce internal resistance.

The company says new technology to sense the voltage remotely at the battery allows charging at a higher voltage, which further increases efficiency.

A truck’s alternator converts mechanical power from the engine to electricity, which it uses to power all the truck’s electrical systems and keep batteries charged.

New low-speed alternators can deliver up to 180 amps of current, even when a vehicle is driving at speeds well below those reached on motorways – experts suggest their efficiency has risen from a low of 55% several decades ago to as high 80% today.

A recent report suggested the UK Chancellor could save £126 million and slash pollution by closing a tax loophole encouraging delivery trucks to use red diesel.