Montreal, Canada-based Effenco has developed a hydraulic hybrid system (HEAD, Hydraulic Equipment Assisting Device) specifically targeted to vehicles with high power demand auxiliaries, such as refuse trucks. The hybrid system comprises a regenerative braking system which includes variable displacement hydraulic pumps and a gearbox; a hydraulic accumulator; and a hydraulic motor.
The Effenco hydraulic hybrid system can drive the existing hydraulic pump for auxiliary equipment or assist the engine. Source: Effenco. Click to enlarge.
Regenerative braking converts braking kinetic energy into a pressurized fluid stored in the accumulator; the system regenerates more than 80% of the braking energy under 22 mph (35 km/h). Rather than using the recovered energy to provide power for acceleration, the Effenco system can drive the vehicle’s existing hydraulic pump that supplies auxiliary equipment, or assist the combustion engine at idle.
To do so, a variable displacement hydraulic motor is mechanically coupled to the engine and to the hydraulic pump via a power take-off interface of the transmission.
The accumulator has a capacity of 54 liters, with a maximum working pressure of 5,000 psi.
In either mode of assistance, the engine consumes less or no fuel. Effenco says its system reduces fuel consumption by 15-25% and increases the lifespan of brakes by a factor of 3.
The HEAD system can be installed or retrofitted on any chassis, according to the company. With a parallel configuration, the system does not affect the truck’s reliability; the truck can operate normally even if the HEAD system is temporarily offline.
An onboard screen provides the driver with dynamic driving guidance about driving efficiency.
Current price of the system is $50,000; there are 7 HEAD hybrid systems on trucks on the road, and 5 to be delivered.