This month, Ford announced the Ford Police Responder, the world’s first pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle.
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
Hybrids are generally thought of as vehicles primarily for those whose greatest concern is fuel efficiency, so let’s take a moment to think about why a police department – where performance matters more than anything else – may be interested in a hybrid vehicle. And, because this is the Ecogate blog after all, let’s see if we can draw some parallels between why hybrid technology makes sense for a police car and why Ecogate Intelligent Ventilation makes sense in the industrial dust/fume/mist collection space.
The common thread is using resources intelligently and on-demand.
The first headline-grabber is the improved fuel efficiency: Ford claims the Responder will get an estimated 38 miles per gallon (MPG), compared to the 18 MPG of Ford’s non-hybrid Police Interceptor Sedan. It’s estimated this will lead to an annual savings of $3,800 per year per vehicle on fuel costs.
Similarly, Ecogate typically reduces a dust collection system’s power use by more than 50% (average savings are 68%), and the financial savings are significant. We’ve built this handy estimator you can use to predict the savings for your facility – it takes less than 30 seconds to get an estimate.
Police cars spend a lot of time standing still with the engine running. This wastes gas, and adds wear & tear on the engine, and increases the frequency with which oil changes and other maintenance is required. The Responder, on the other hand, turns off the gasoline engine while the vehicle is parked. This leads to saved fuel, reduced maintenance requirements, and increased comfort for the occupants.
Ecogate also stops motors when they’re not needed – during lunch or other shift breaks, Ecogate automatically stops the fan motors based on workstation activity. As soon as a machine requires dust collection, Ecogate turns the motors back on. This results not only in significant electricity savings, but also much greater comfort for employees inside the factory – during breaks, the inside of the factory is quiet because dust collection isn’t running needlessly.
While we’re on the subject of noise levels and comfort: by providing suction only at machines that need it at any given point of time, Ecogate actually reduces the noise level inside the factory even while dust collection is running. At our installation at Synsor Retail Innovation, we measured this difference to be 8 dB – immediately noticeable.
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Reduced Frequency of Oil Changes
Because the gasoline engine in the Responder runs for fewer hours per day than in comparable gasoline-only vehicles, the intervals between oil changes are extended, saving time and money.
Controlling the fan motor with a variable frequency drive also significantly reduces the wear & tear on the motor by eliminating the inrush current that occurs when a fan without a variable frequency drive is turned on. This is significant because motors can draw several times their normal full-load current when first energized, placing significant stress and strain on the motor.
It’s not all about fuel-efficiency and savings with hybrids. By combining the instant power delivery of an electric motor with a gasoline engine, hybrids can actually outperform gasoline-only vehicles in acceleration speed.
For some confirmation of the instant power delivery of electric motors, here’s a video of an electric 5-seater sedan taking on a hypercar in a drag race:
Image courtesy of Tesla Motors
Ecogate also delivers superior performance. By directing suction to machines that actually need it, Ecogate improves the performance of undersized systems. Here are more details on how and why that works.
In the end, with the right hybrid vehicle, you get better performance with lower costs – just like with Ecogate on your dust collection system.
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