How Companies are Saving Money While Complying with New Regulations
2020 Diesel Fuel Regulation
The 2020 new diesel fuel regulations are the biggest change in global fuel regulations since the 1995 total ban on leaded gas. The new diesel regulations are the result of a United Nations IMO subcommittee that sets rules for shipping safety, security and pollution. Beginning in January, 2020, the global sulphur cap on fuel content will be 0.5%, down significantly from 3.5%. Ships will start to move to a different fuel type. And with their consumption around 3 million barrels a day, that move will put them in direct competition for fuel with truckers, railroads, airlines, and owners of heavy equipment. The financial impact of this new regulation along with the environmental impact of their emissions has more companies looking at alternative ways to fuel their vehicles while keeping their businesses running efficiently.
Electric Vehicles to Combat Rising Fuel Costs
Diesel engines are proven durable and efficient, but their consumption of diesel fuel, a blend of petroleum components, can produce some pollutants. A small amount of the fuel exits the engine unburned and these airborne hydrocarbons can form larger particles in the atmosphere when they contact airborne dust and other particles. Electric Vehicles (EV) offer a company cost savings in reduced fuel and maintenance costs. Anti-idling regulations come with penalties – EVs can offer regulatory savings in this area. With zero fuel emissions, the health benefits of electric is yet another reason to switch. Electricity is also considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Electricity can be produced from a variety of energy sources, including oil, coal, nuclear energy, hydropower, natural gas, wind energy, solar energy, and stored hydrogen. Plug-in electric vehicles are capable of drawing electricity from off-board electrical power sources (generally the electricity grid) and storing it in batteries. Though not yet widely available, fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity onboard the vehicle. EVs aren’t only passenger vehicles either. There are indoor EVs that are forklifts and floor scrubbers. There are outdoor EVs that patrol parking lots and truck merchandise across country.
Electric Vehicles in the Great Outdoors
Outdoor electric vehicles can be anything from forklifts and excavators to a security robot patrolling a parking lot or local bus lines moving people. Every industry is seeing an increase in EV options for every area of their business. FedEx and Amazon are looking at delivery robots. DHL adds new EV cargo delivery vans to its fleet annually. The trucking industry is transforming from diesel fuel-based to electric-powered. And the e-truck market is expected to climb at a 30% compound annual growth rate by 2026 as a result.
Metropolises Adopt Electric Buses
In 2018, 5% of city buses registered in Western Europe and Poland were battery-electric buses. In the US, the number of EV buses is 300 for the whole country. But many cities are starting to step into the electric vehicle game. The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) placed an order for six all-electric 40’ Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses with 440 kWh battery packs and three 60 kW Proterra plug-in chargers. The buses are set to replace six diesel buses and will eliminate more than 23 million pounds of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions over the 12-year life of the vehicles.
Electric Vehicles take on Heavy Equipment
New technology can help reduce emissions and improve the daily life for those in the work zone. One company with just that as their goal is Caterpillar. Caterpillar is developing electric forklifts, excavators, and dozers. With Pon Equipment, Caterpillar has recently unveiled a 26 ton excavator with a 300 kWh battery pack. This is the first time an excavator of this size has been converted to battery-electric. The powertrain also includes an almost silent 122 kW electric motor. The design of the excavator is meant to withstand rough movements, and a lot of them. The battery capacity generally produces 5 to 7 useful hours with an overnight charge – just like an average workday. One Norwegian construction company employing these electric excavators estimates a reduction in their CO2 emissions by 52 tons. Another benefit to electric is the reduction to both air and noise pollution – something both employees and passersby can appreciate. If every Norwegian construction company replaced their excavators with an electric one, the emissions result would be the same as if 60,000 cars were removed from the road.
Autonomous Driving Unit
Another company in the EV game is Baidu. Baidu is looking to use technology to dramatically reduce traffic accidents, relieve traffic jams, and improve transportation efficiency. Baidu functions with world-class capabilities in AI, deep learning, big data, advanced hardware, and high def maps. The business side of Baidu forms strategic alliances with car manufacturers, tier one suppliers, insurance companies, and government entities. And the technology side is building all aspects of the company’s capabilities, e.g., sensing, localization, perception, planning, control, operating system, simulation, security and related hardware components. With a goal to commercialize autonomous driving by 2018 and begin mass production by 2020, Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Unit (ADU) is capable of sensing and navigating without human input.
Electric Vehicles in the Form of Security Robots
Reducing crime nearly 100% on loading docks and in warehouse parking lots, Knightscope security robots provide people and license plate detection, eye-level 360o HD video streaming and recording, thermal anomaly detection, live and custom audio broadcast, and remote monitoring. Knightscope security robots are an incredibly effective means to keep your site patrolled and safe. Moving at a speeds around 3 mph, these sophisticated bots even autonomously recharge themselves when needed. The outdoor K5, the indoor K3, the stationary K1, and the forthcoming multi-terrain K7, all offer similar security functions, but for very different external environments. UAF’s moisture-resistant, cleanable filters meet applicable enclosure-level standards like MIL-STD, NEMA, and IP ratings. Functioning in both indoor and outdoor locations means the robots incur exposure to all elements. The precision of this system and its equipment requires crucial protection and advanced filtration solutions. Filters from Illinois’ Universal Air Filter provide Knightscope robots the durability and reliability needed for efficient, continuous operation and performance. UAF’s moisture-resistant, cleanable filters meet applicable enclosure-level standards like MIL-STD, NEMA, and IP ratings. With dust and water mist prevention a necessity, ultra-thin framed filters combine as part of a two stage media solution, while water-repellant, low pressure drop filter media reduces the ingress of airborne moisture and dust without jeopardizing the flow of critical cooling air.
UAF & Outdoor Electric Vehicles
UAF filters can help alleviate maintenance costs and time. The proper filter in your system will keep everything functioning properly. Specifically addressing the issues associated with equipment exposed to weather, Universal Air Filter is creating new air filtration designs that will withstand the harsh environments of these outdoor systems. Utilizing cost-effective designs incorporating sturdy aluminum frames and rugged filter media, UAF is aiming to service equipment and improve performance. To reduce maintenance and prolong the life of outdoor electric vehicles and the filters within it, UAF customers have recognized stock filters can’t always perform as needed. The proper filters deliver proper air flow and improved dirt and dust arrestance. Improved filter materials also reduce maintenance time and costs.
Electric Vehicles Go Inside
While indoor facilities are looking at EV for similar reasons to outdoor, there is also the added benefit of freeing up employee time to focus on higher level tasks. Indoor EVs have begun to take on tedious tasks like inventory to free employees for customer service and product placement. Indoor EVs are generally considered robots for their smaller stature. They can also be found in just about every industry. The same security robots that patrol parking lots, can also patrol indoor spaces. Forklifts are big equipment used for product movement indoors and out. Other indoor EVs clean floors and deliver medication.
Electric Vehicles Moving Product Indoors
An efficient hospital is constantly delivering medications and laboratory specimens between departments. Automating this task would save employees time for other administrative tasks. To that end, Aethon has created TUG industrial mobile robots that perform delivery and transportation tasks in hotels and hospitals. Providing secure delivery of medications and specimens and even managing heavier loads like meals and linens, TUG moves autonomously and can even see up to an 80% reduction of cost-per-delivery. Travelling at 30 inches per second, TUG auto docks and auto charges. The valve-regulated lead-acid battery technology has a 10 hour run time with intermittent charging. The capacity of the vehicle is 1,000 pounds. Communicating on WiFi or 900MHz, navigation is performed on an internal map of the facility using a laser.
Electric Floor Cleaners
We’ve all seen Roomba and RoboVac, but for commercial cleaning, BrainOS Corporation has taken commercial floor care to a new level. Improving cleaning consistency and coverage, with a cloud-connected operating system for autonomous solutions, Brain safely and successfully powers autonomous commercial robots across industries and environments. Moving at a maximum speed of 2 mph, the run time is as long as 3.5 hours. With both manual and autonomous controls, noise emissions are only 68 dBA. The battery is a 2 x 12V 140Ah AGM and produces a nominal voltage of 24V DC.
Electric Vehicles Taking Inventory
One true tedious task of any retail operation is inventory. A time consuming and draining process, Bossa Nova has developed robots that can autonomously take inventory. Teaming with WalMart, Bossa Nova deployed robots in 50 WalMart stores in 3 different US states. Avoiding obstacles, like people, boxes, shopping carts, the robot can collect terabytes of data and analysis in real time, freeing up employees to place product and assist customers. Real time reports are provided to determine which items require restocking. Bossa Nova robots can move autonomously at almost half mile per hour. Not only is the machine scanning the store shelves for out of stock items, but for incorrect pricing or labels.
UAF Filters and Indoor Electric Vehicles
With some electric vehicles, the filter is an afterthought or an after the malfunction thought. With a proper fitting filter of the correct media, the damage of no filter can be repaired. While it is always best to consider the filter in the original design plan, Universal Air Filter can help retrofit filters into an existing design. UAF is adept at creating custom shaped filters in the material for your environment. UAF’s experienced team and 3D CAD tools will design a filter perfectly fit to your system’s size, thickness, and material specifications. Within a business week, a prototype will be produced and sent for you to scrutinize in your system.
Meeting the Demands of Charging Electric Vehicles
Not surprisingly, electric vehicles need electricity to keep them moving. Some vehicle’s systems require its battery to be removed and charged externally and some vehicles connect to a charging plate or plug. Charging types are dependent on the size of the vehicle and range in speed and power.
Under Vehicle Charging
There are a few companies currently working to uncover new charging solutions. WiTricity is one company currently exploring under vehicle battery charging for passenger vehicles, Teaming with other progressive companies, WiTricity has formed relationships that have led to the development of a 7.7kW and 11kW charging system. The vehicle parks over a charging plate on the ground that is linked to a small, wall-mounted charging station. The wall-mounted charging station has circuit cards and fans, so a filter is required to keep the wall-mounted enclosure clean.
With electric vehicle batteries getting larger, the charging of them is taking longer to accomplish with 3.3kW of power. Having achieved wireless systems that can operate at higher kW, WiTricity is aiming to get to 25kW or higher. Increasing the power will decrease the amount of time it takes for the vehicle to charge, putting it back to work that much sooner.
Teaming up with companies like Mahle, Honda, and Nissan, WiTricity is a leader in advancing wireless charging, even acquiring Qualcomm Halo’s wireless charging platform earlier this year. Though an early concept, Audi is also researching the possibility of inductive, wireless charging technology along roadways to charge vehicles when driving in addition to static charging while cars are parked.
Charging a City Bus
Many cities across the globe like Shenzhen, in China, have begun to employ electric buses for their public transportation fleets. With electric buses making their way to the roadways, charging them becomes the latest need. Swiss-Swedish company ABB, has developed an infrastructure capable of quickly charging a passenger vehicle as well as a city bus. Offering multiple designs, power, and mounts, ABB covers the various electric bus charging needs. Charging infrastructures for any location and climate, combine with connected services for the flexibility to connect to any charging network, back office, payment platform, or energy management solution. Modular and redundant construction ensures continuous operation while industry-grade components ensure a long lifetime and robust operation. The technology is easily upgraded, making it nearly future proof. Maintenance and power management can be performed remotely. And the stainless steel powder coated cabinets provide durability, even in cold or humid climates. Functioning in a variety of weather and temperatures means the chargers need to be resilient. With the overall system quite sturdy, it is the internal,delicate parts that require protection. UAF Filters & EV Charging stations
UAF Filters & EV Charging Stations
Charging stations have a delicate internal system that keeps the system performing optimally and charging efficiently and quickly. With some charging stations located outdoors, all possible types of weather need to be considered. The charging systems cannot be exposed to water or debris. Filters prevent dust particles and repel water from entering the system. Maintaining optimal temperatures is necessary to consistent performance of any piece of technology. Filters can assist with this as well.