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SUB-FREEZING IDLE REDUCTION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000192690D
Publication Date: 2010-Jan-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system that uses an independent battery or set of batteries to keep an engine warm (including minimally running an oil pump, water pump, and/or oil/water heater) and charge the main battery of a vehicle when the vehicle is inactive. The independent battery or set of batteries is charged when the engine is running.

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Sub-Freezing Idle REduction

Background

The present invention relates generally to a device that keeps a system warm and charges the system’s main battery, and more particularly to the installation of at least one independent battery to keep the engine of a system warm and charge the system’s main battery when the system is inactive.

It is well know that it can be difficult to start an internal combustion engine from a cold condition, particularly during cold weather conditions.  In cold weather conditions, there may be a delay of more than one hour after starting the locomotive engine from cold conditions until the engine is capable of operating at full throttle.  In order to avoid delays in the availability of such engines, particularly in cold weather conditions, the engines need to be kept warm when they are inactive.

In order to assure that an engine will always be available to operate at full throttle, it is common to place the engine in an “idle position” during periods of inactivity.  The engine in “idle position” keeps operating (at a minimum level) to maintain the engine at operable temperature.  This practice consumes fuel during the period of inactivity.

To save fuel consumption, an Automatic Engine Start and Stop (AESS) system can automatically restart an engine a certain amount of time following a shutdown, and automatically shutdown the engine after a period of the restart.  An AESS system is configured to reduce the duration of unnecessary operation of the engine but still maintains the engine at operable temperature.  However, AESS system still requires full operation of the engine to keep the engine warm, which still consumes a significant amount of fuel.

It is desirable to have a device that can keep an engine warm during inactivity without consumption of fuel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a schematic layout of a locomotive system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates generally to an idle reduction and heating system that keeps a system (e.g., vehicle system) warm and charges the system’s main battery, and more particularly to the installation of at least one independent battery to keep the engine of a system warm and charge the system’s main battery when the system is inactive.

In one aspect, the present invention can be applied to a locomotive system.  The present invention places at least one independent battery, or an independent battery pack (e.g., plural independent batteries), in or proximate to the locomotive system’s engine, with energy from the at least one independent battery being used to keep the engine water and oil warm during inactivity of the system (e.g., the battery powers a heating unit).  The independent battery or battery pack could also charge th...