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Altair ProductDesign selects Parker Hannifin drive system

ABR Staff Writer Published 09 December 2010

Altair ProductDesign, a subsidiary of Altair Engineering, has selected Parker Hannifin's series hydraulic hybrid drive system for its BUSolutions project.

Altair ProductDesign said that the system will enable the new advanced bus platform to achieve 45-70% increased fuel economy over average diesel powertrains and more than double the fuel economy improvement of hybrid-electrics, contributing to an overall lower cost of ownership for transit authorities and reduced emissions.

BUSolutions is a collaborative effort between public and private entities to research, develop and commercialize advanced transit bus systems.

The Parker series hybrid drive system is unique in that the engine is not connected to the rear wheels of the vehicle.

The de-coupling of the engine from the drive wheels offers several advantages including: the ability to recover and store as much as 70% of the energy from braking, reduced brake wear, which extends brake life; an engine management system that optimizes the vehicle's engine for reduced fuel consumption; the ability to drive the vehicle with the engine off, reducing carbon emissions in depots and contributing to reduced fuel consumption, the company said.

Fabrication of the first technology-demonstrator bus body structure was completed in April 2010, and final assembly is well underway. Hybrid driveline system commissioning will be completed in mid-November, with a technology demonstration event planned for early December.

Once complete, the company will conduct testing to validate the reductions in fuel, maintenance and lifetime-operation costs and any necessary improvements will be incorporated to ensure the design is production-ready, ensuring a smooth transition of the program into a commercialization phase.

Parker Hannifin vice president of Technology Joseph Kovach said transit buses are a vehicle segment that could greatly benefit from our hybrid hydraulic technology, and this program will allow them to prove how their technology has the potential to be used extensively within the transit bus system.