2013 US Trucking Industry News – Truck Stop Electrification


What is Shore Power?

Shore power is an integrated technology that makes truck stop electrification a convenient service and money-saving proposition for drivers and truck owners. It is also known as Cold Ironing, or a shore supply. Cold ironing doesn’t happen often on merchant ships since it involves switching off all of its independent internal power sources when the ship is in harbor. This term is often wrongly applied to aircrafts or land-based vehicles.

The source for land-based power can be either from grid power from an electric utility company, or from an external remote generator. These generators are powered by diesel or solar power. Shore power saves the fuel that is used to power vessels while in port. It also eliminates the air power that is caused by the consumption of fuel. Some cities have anti-idle laws that require these ships to use shore power. Shore power facilitates the maintenance of generators and ship engines. It also reduces noise.

Shore power technologies were formed with the goal of arranging EPS or Electrified Parking Spaces. These parking spaces are located in malls, businesses, warehouses, truck depots, and other parking areas. It originated from a pilot project state in New York, and was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Now, Shore power is expanding nationwide. Most of these Shore power corporate facilities are found in Utica, New York, with offices in Oregon and Washington DC.

How is Shore Power Related to the Trucking Industry?

Shore power is called Truck Stop Electrification when applied to the trucking industry. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, it has been estimated that trucks that plug in can save as much as 3,240 US dollars a year, versus trucks that are idling on diesel fuel. In the United States, there are 138 truck stops that offer on-board systems and off-board systems. These stops have an hourly fee.

Another alternative to both idling and shore power for trucks is the Auxiliary power unit.

What is Truck Stop Electrification?

Truck stop electrifications, or TSEs, lets truck drivers experience heat, air-conditioning, and electricity in their vehicles without having to put their vehicle’s engines on idle. There are a lot of variations among manufacturers of TSEs, but most of them consist of a window-mounted unit with flexible tubes where heat and air-conditioning can pass through. These units also provide outlets for comfort and entertainment features like cable television, appliances, and an internet connection. Facilities for the TSE include card payment machines, monitoring, and security systems. There are future plans for TSEs to provide charging stations for electric cars.

Approximately 22% of the ozone-producing nitrogen oxides in the state come from diesel-powered trucks, particulate matter, toxic pollutants, and greenhouse gasses. Trucks that are idle also contribute to the non-attainment status of Connecticut for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and particulate matter. The Connecticut Clean Diesel Plan recommended TSE units or other idle reducing technologies as helpful and important aids in limiting idling time and obeying the regulations of the state. These TSE facilities can help reduce the risk of asthma and bronchitis among Connecticut residents by decreasing the amount of diesel pollutants. An emerging aspect of Connecticut’s air quality attainment and Greenhouse gas reduction effort is controlling the emissions from these diesel trucks.

Every hour, idling trucks consume around 0.8 to 1.0 gallons of fuel. And every year, the estimated cost of this consumed fuel amounts to $2,400 per truck, plus an additional $250 for covering idling-related maintenance. Through the use of TSEs and other idle-reduction technologies, drivers and fleet-owners have experienced a huge amount of savings. TSE units being installed at truck stops and service plazas eliminate the longest periods of idling, which is when truck drivers take their mandatory rest periods. There are also benefits in having facilities installed at distribution centers or ports—Places where trucks are frequently idle as the drivers wait for their turns at the loading docks. A number of new TSEs are currently in development at Connecticut and the North East.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation, or the CT DOT, is now installing TSE facilities as part of their redevelopment program.

Shore Power TSE System

The Power Pedestal: An all-weather mountain fixture that is located adjacent to each parking space. It delivers 120 and 208 volt power, Internet, and cable services.

Payment and Control System: This allows Shore power to finish each transaction smoothly and provide service to drivers, without the help of personnel. It drastically reduces operational costs by providing an effective solution user, as well as revenues for the operator. Truck drivers will have the option to pay through their laptops, or call a toll-free number by using a kiosk, which is the more frequently-used option. During the call, drivers can specify the location that they want and their connection number. The service is then activated by the live support personnel.

On Board Cab Kits: Shore power provides a range of comfortable and efficiency packages for the driver. The driver can start using Shore power by connecting a heavy-duty extension cord to the Shore power pedestal right after making an authorization call.

A complex installation kit includes a cab-mounted load center and a wiring harness that can power a full range of cab amenities such as heating, air conditioning, cooking, and entertainment devices. Volvo, a car manufacturer, have offered Shore power compatible electrification modules.

TSE facilities throughout the region

New Haven, Connecticut: Received funding for establishing a new TSE facility to reduce emissions from idle trucks in the port district. The facility was opened in 2011.

North Stonington, Connecticut: The American Auto Stop has 116 electrified spaces outfitted with CabAire service towers. Their facility includes sensors that can detect if a truck is idling.

Canaan, New York: The NYSERDA awarded a cost shared contract to EnviroDock Inc of White Plains NY, for enabling to complete its first installation of five E-dock stationary units at the Canaan Truck Stop.

Gardiner, Maine: The Maine Turnpike Authority received an assistance grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency for the construction of 30 electrified parking spaces at a Maine service plaza. It was opened in the summer of 2010.


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