In an article for Fleet Equipment Magazine, Purkeys Chief Creative Engineer, Bruce Purkey explains how an integrated control module can help fleets balance their needs with the driver’s needs. More information about Purkeys inverter control modules can also be found on the Purkeys blog. The article published below was first published by Jason Morgan for Fleet Equipment Magazine.
Inverter Insight from Bruce Purkey
by Jason Morgan
Inverters are a popular way to deal with hotel load demand, but there is a consequence. “When I first started in this business, I hated [inverters] because they have a negative impact on batteries,” says Bruce Purkey, chief creative officer of Purkeys. “As I watched the market place—fleets use this to entice drivers. You can use invertors to cook your own meals, watch television, etc. My thought was that if we can’t beat them, join them.”
To appease both the driver’s desire for sleeper power and the truck’s need to start in the morning, Purkeys started installing timers or a low-voltage disconnect (LVD) to limit how much time the inverter can be used.
“If you don’t limit that time, all that comes off the battery,” Purkey explains. “What people forget is—if you put 2,000-watt inverter onboard, divide that by 10 and that means that it’s pulling 200 amps out of your batteries. You only have 400-ampere hours. For example, one fleet I work with allows their drivers to use the inverter two hours out of every eight. We want them to have those creature comforts, but we also want those vehicles to start.”
Purkeys provides a special programmable module to whatever specifications the fleet desires. Purkey explained that one large fleet he’s worked with determined that their inverters would be usable for two hours every eight hours. When eight hours is up, the timer resets.
“Let’s say you run all day and then you stop, and you’ll be down for eight hours. If you want to watch TV or use the micro-range for the first hour, that’s cool—just shut it off when you’re done. That way, when you wake up and you want to make coffee, you have an hour left,” he says. “If you go to sleep with the television on, the inverter is going to shut off after two hours. When you wake up six hours later, you won’t have power to use until the inverter resets.”
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