1. #1
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    Default APUs on fire apparatus

    Does anyone know if any manufacturer besides Rosenbauer has built any apparatus with an APU? If I understand correctly, the Rosenbauer pumper has a diesel powered generator that in addition to running the usual electrical equipment (ie.: light tower, reels, etc.) also powers the emergency lights, AC, and heater when the chassis motor is turned off. This keeps the DPF from getting filled quicker than normal. Idling apparently kills the filters. The idea sounds pretty good, I guess. We may see a trend back to diesel gen sets and way from the PTO all for the sake of the EPA.

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    To my knowledge, Rosenbauer is the only manufacturer providing this. In addition to heat, it can also run an aux. AC system while the engine is not running to keep the cab cool. You can also plug the system into the shoreline while parked in the station to keep the cab cool.

    You are correct about the DPF. When the truck is at idle, it is extremely tough on them. The cost to replace/repair them are quite substantial. If you're department has replaced one lately, then you understand what I'm talking about.

    I've seen the system in operation and was quite impressed on the ease of operation of the system. To be honest, I never thought an APU would have an application in the fire service until I witnessed the demo. Rosenbauer had their thinking hats on here.

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    Devils advocate here.

    I'm wondering about the costs of the APU ( many thousand ) VS. how much it would be used.

    I understand the issue of sitting at idle and clogging up the DPF, but isn't an engine usually pumping, not sitting?

    When periods of sitting are encountered and shutting the engine off isn't an option, why not throttle it up? The engine then runs more efficiently and wouldn't foul the DPF as soon. The engine should be set at a high idle anyways to provide more power to run all the lights and accesories, and keep enough fuel flowing to cool the injector tips.

    Yes the APU uses less fuel than the main powerplant to run all the 12v stuff and A/C, but you can buy a lot of diesel fuel for the cost of an APU.

    Just asking. Please tell me if I'm off base here.
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    The trucking industry has been using them for years. Just something to think about.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Next thing you know, diesel gen sets will need a DPF too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDMAXX View Post
    Devils advocate here.

    I'm wondering about the costs of the APU ( many thousand ) VS. how much it would be used.

    I understand the issue of sitting at idle and clogging up the DPF, but isn't an engine usually pumping, not sitting?

    When periods of sitting are encountered and shutting the engine off isn't an option, why not throttle it up? The engine then runs more efficiently and wouldn't foul the DPF as soon. The engine should be set at a high idle anyways to provide more power to run all the lights and accesories, and keep enough fuel flowing to cool the injector tips.

    Yes the APU uses less fuel than the main powerplant to run all the 12v stuff and A/C, but you can buy a lot of diesel fuel for the cost of an APU.

    Just asking. Please tell me if I'm off base here.
    Most of us are already putting some sort of generator on our trucks so that's pretty much a sunk cost. This system appears to be using a diesel generator to run the system. So it probably isn't much more than you're spending on a generator right now. Throttling up the engine only wastes more fuel. From what I understand, the APU might use 1/4 of the fuel per hour as an engine at idle.

    If you look at the reports that are being published, actual fire calls where we get to actually pump water might be 6-7% of our calls. Most of of us are running a lot of EMS calls (most bogus) where we might sit and idle for a good 20-40 minutes before the medics finally transport. I believe this is where the big $$$ savings will come into play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDMAXX View Post
    Devils advocate here.

    I'm wondering about the costs of the APU ( many thousand ) VS. how much it would be used.

    I understand the issue of sitting at idle and clogging up the DPF, but isn't an engine usually pumping, not sitting?

    When periods of sitting are encountered and shutting the engine off isn't an option, why not throttle it up? The engine then runs more efficiently and wouldn't foul the DPF as soon. The engine should be set at a high idle anyways to provide more power to run all the lights and accesories, and keep enough fuel flowing to cool the injector tips.

    Yes the APU uses less fuel than the main powerplant to run all the 12v stuff and A/C, but you can buy a lot of diesel fuel for the cost of an APU.

    Just asking. Please tell me if I'm off base here.
    Just a thought on my part. How many trucks are sitting on a scene at a idle because they are there for man power? On a large scene with several trucks and several hours involved the fuel savings would begin to add up. Another thing is there would be less wear and tear on the motor and less hours on the motor means less oil changes which would be another savings.
    Last edited by rm1524; 12-11-2009 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Added something.

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    Apu's aren't terribly expensive when you consider the overall price of apparatus. DPF's and Fire apparatus don't get along well,jeeze who'd of thunk that? Guess that's just one more item the geniuses at Epa didn't think thru when they thought this schit up. Just like DPF fluid,mandate it before you have the support in place to use it. Idiocity at it's finest. Mechanical Engines,normal exhaust =fewer problems. Oh I can live with the electronic engines but NOT that dumbazz exhaust can. T.C.

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    With the grants that are apparently available, getting one put on a new apparatus may be a good thing. The idea just takes getting used to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LT2410 View Post
    Most of us are already putting some sort of generator on our trucks so that's pretty much a sunk cost. This system appears to be using a diesel generator to run the system. So it probably isn't much more than you're spending on a generator right now. Throttling up the engine only wastes more fuel. From what I understand, the APU might use 1/4 of the fuel per hour as an engine at idle.

    If you look at the reports that are being published, actual fire calls where we get to actually pump water might be 6-7% of our calls. Most of of us are running a lot of EMS calls (most bogus) where we might sit and idle for a good 20-40 minutes before the medics finally transport. I believe this is where the big $$$ savings will come into play.
    Understood. The reason I'm asking is because it takes quite a bit of savings to offset the cost of the APU. Most liquid cooled APU's are easily $6500, and will not put out enough 12V DC to run the warning lights as stated above. AC output can vary. Rosenbauer must not be using the low output version if the OP's description is right, hence increasing the cost.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has crunched the numbers here. To often I see people rush to save a few cents, but spend dollars to do it. That is my only point. Spending thousands to save hundreds.

    Could spec'ing out a higher output APU take the place of the PTO generator that is so popular these days? I guess then the cost wouldn't be an issue when taking the place of the PTO generator.
    Last edited by DFDMAXX; 12-12-2009 at 11:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    The trucking industry has been using them for years. Just something to think about.
    Very true. The APU has a proven place in the trucking industry. Eliminating the truck engine idling for 10 hours ( or more ) each day makes for some serious savings in the long run. Not to mention new anti-idling laws, and granting of weight exemptions to offset the weight of the APU makes it an even more attractive package. I'm just asking if anyone has run the numbers for the fire dept applications.

    Another idea from the trucking industry: Diesel fueled bunk heaters. Little thing about the size of a shoe box the mounts inside the cab, under the bunk to provide heat for the whole sleeper and cab. Uses about 1 gal of fuel in 10 hours. I don't remember the BTU output, but I can tell you they will melt you out of that truck if put on high. Very nice.

    A dealer here in Wisconsin has installed them as pump compartment heaters. Works very well in rear-mount pumps instead of circulating engine coolant that far back in the chassis. A bit pricey, but it works very well.

    Sometimes a tool made for a certain application works well in other roles. Other times it does not. I'm just asking about feasability, long term cost savings, and any other info I can get to increase my knowledge.

    Hey, if APU's work out to be long term cost savers, we might look into them as well.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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    Default APUs on Fire Apparatus

    Stop giving the EPA ideas about putting DPFs on Diesel gen-sets! Whoever stated that most engines would be pumping, needs to read the national run survey. 80% of all calls fire departments respond to each year are non-fire related.

    Keep in mind there are mutual aid calls or situations where a truck is dispatched as merely manpower support. That truck may be at a fire call, however not pumping, but sitting idle for possibly hours.

    Concerning the return in cost most of your return on investment comes from a combination of three items.
    1. How many calls does one particular truck respond too, that are deemed non-fire.
    2. While on those calls, what is the average time on-scene?
    3. How much is your department paying per gallon of diesel fuel.

    Take for example Anywhere FD (using a real department's stats however)
    1. E2 responds to 1,253 EMS or non-fire related calls
    2. That department averages 20.4 min on-scene with non-fire calls
    3. Last, this department paid $4.14 per gallon of diesel fuel in 2008

    Keep in mind the main chassis engine burns 1 gallon of diesel fuel per hour at idle. A diesel genset uses only on quart, so one fourth of a gallon an hour running.

    I'll let you guys guess how much money this department will save in one year, then multiply that number by say 15 years or the expected life time of this new apparatus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArdmoreVFD View Post
    Stop giving the EPA ideas about putting DPFs on Diesel gen-sets!...
    You're WAY to late for that thought. The evironazis are everwhere (and now have unlimited power in DC). Offroad diesel emissions standards have been around for years. Already up to "Tier 3" as I recall. With Tier 4 phasing in.

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    I like the idea, and the cost savings will increase in a few months with 2010 and urea costs.

    In addition to the trucking industry, they are also common in aircraft for the same reason. Jet engines have to undergo maintenance and overhaul at specific intervals. Wasting those hours (not to mention jet fuel) operating those big turbines sitting on the ground is expensive.

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    ^^^^ My first experience with the APU's is with commercial airlines, specifically Boeing. They do take ALOT of load off the engines, and the fuel savings is in the $ millions.

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    Not familiar with them. From ther above posts i am assuming it is a small diesel (or gas) 12VDC gen-set which will charge the vehicle batteries to enable warning lights, scene lights, etc. @ the scene without running the vehicle engine? Could also have 120/240VAC power to? Who makes them?

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    Could ProPulse by Oshkosh be an option in the future. Could it be a new flavor of Koolaid? Seems similar to Rosenbauer's idea, but to the next level.

    http://www.oshkoshdefense.com/defens...y~propulse.cfm

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    Why would you want APU on your fire apparatus?

    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Just curious, and maybe my Department is way ahead of the curve...but when dispatched for manpower for hours....why are you leaving the engine idling and not shutting it off?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Cool APU's

    It has been common for years to have diesel generators on Haz-Mat, Command Centers, and Squad trucks that maybe stationary for long periods at an incedent and run A/C, lights, computers, radios, air compressors, etc. I can see some of this migrating to rescue pumpers that might be on sceane for long periods of time. I suspect the payback might never justify on a pumper style truck.

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    Fire Chiefs mag. had an story a few months ago that showed a california dept. that installed solar panels on top of the trucks to supply power to charge equipment and a battery charging system. Not quite the same as an APU, however the same concept.

    The AC running whilie pulged up to a shore line would be nice. but i would just be happy with AC the works well in the station!!!!!

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    put a charging outlet by the hydrant, then we can lay supply line and power cords and run with electric fire trucks.

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    Default Green Star Idle Reduction Technology

    Here's the video for the Green Star IRT system. Enjoy!
    http://www.rosenbaueramerica.com/green_star/

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