Blackburn Energy is the maker of RelGen, a renewable electric generation system for large trucks. RelGen converts the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle into electricity. The electricity created is stored in a battery array and can be used to power any vehicle system, such as our first market segment, electric HVAC and accessory systems in the sleeper cabs of long haul trucks. RelGen can also increase the fuel economy of trucks by replacing mechanical belt driven components with electric units. Blackburn can turn any truck into a mobile platform for the creation, storage and delivery of renewable electricity.
Blackburn Energy invented a new method for creating electricity and several associated pieces of hardware. RelGen captures the kinetic energy of the vehicle, requires no changes to powertrain geometry, and is universal to all long haul tractor-trailer trucks. A proprietary control unit operates RelGen in two modes, Full Power and Energy Capture. In Full Power the system’s controller engages the power unit creating electricity until the batteries are fully charged. This mode allows for maximum electricity production while minimizing any effect on fuel economy. In Energy Capture, RelGen’s controller engages the power unit only when the operator is not accelerating, resulting in zero use of fuel and the creation of purely renewable electricity. Blackburn Energy’s technology is proprietary & patent pending.
Idling Wastes Fuel and Increases Engine Wear
US Department of Energy, Argone National Laboratories
Idling a heavy-duty truck consumes about 0.8 gallon of fuel per hour. Even when diesel costs as little as $2.50 a gallon, fuel for one 10-hour rest period will cost $20. Typically, a long-haul truck idles about 1,800 hours per year, using about 1,500 gallons of diesel. Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) estimates that, in the U.S., rest-period truck idling consumes up to 1 billion gallons of fuel annually at a cost of around $3 billion. Idling also accelerates engine wear and tear. Where manufacturer warranties and maintenance intervals apply to “hours operated” rather than “miles traveled,” the cost of idling is greater than just fuel.
Idling Degrades Air Quality
Argonne estimates that rest-period idling results in the emission of about 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 55,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 400 tons of particulate matter annually in the U.S. These emissions contribute to climate change and diminish local air quality, which can affect the health of not only those living in the community, but the truck drivers themselves.
Idling May Be Illegal
Many state and local laws restrict the idling of heavy-duty trucks, and violating idling laws can result in steep fines. Clean Cities’ IdleBase (cleancities.energy.gov/IdleBase), a database of idling laws and ordinances, catalogs known idling restrictions and penalties for all classes of on-road vehicles. The American Transportation Research Institute (atri-online.org) provides a downloadable cab card for laws specific to heavy-duty trucks.
The Blackburn Energy Solution
RelGen produces up to 5x times the amount of electricity currently available for charging auxiliary batteries, which allows fleet owners to provide hospitable living conditions for their drivers, comply with State law, save fuel expense and prevent costly repairs. RelGen is compatible with all existing battery HVAC units & accessories. A Blackburn powered solution can annually save each truck $6-8K in fuel costs preventing the release of 21 tons of CO2 emissions, and saving the $4-6K cost to replace a damaged diesel particulate filter. Total system payback is one year.