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Can you tell me something about yourself?
Sorry this took so long.So far I’ve had a great life. I was in love twice. The first for 6 plus years, you know freshman year in college. She left me for a very rich, Jewish Pharmacist. It hurt and I flounder for a few years but I found my niche working for a Fortune 189 company and The Parkland Area Jaycees.When I started with our NPO we were but 17 members and were about to have our charter pulled by the national Org. because we didn’t have prerequisite 20 members. The first part of this narrative is important. It’s the second weekend in August 1976 (it will go quick after this.) Well, Saturday morning 6 of us got into a pick-up, purchased two cases of beer and donned attitudes. We drove through the local neighborhoods looking for men our approximate age (most of us were mid 20’s) mowing lawns. We would jump out the pick-up, and offer to finish mowing his lawn if he would listen to our pitch about joining an NPO, which would cost him $20.00 a year and require a lot of time to do good things in his community. And while he listened we offered him a cold one. By the end of the day we recruited six new members. We started small but in my final years we held a Spring Home Show with the Lehigh Valley Homebuilders Assoc. and held a BMW, Cadillac, Harley raffle with and additional 40 prizes. Tickets were $50.00. We sold 10,000, every year. At the end of our fiscal, all money raised was distributed to help a lot of folks and organizations. I started like everyone, just a member. Three years in I was a Director and a program manager, year four I was the Pennsylvania State Speak-Up chairman. Basically I taught other trainers how to teach Public Speaking at meetings all around the State. Year five I was Internal Vice President of an organization that swelled to close to 140 members. I was traveling in my job but it didn’t conflict with my volunteerism. But big jobs were coming up that required 120 day assignments. Tamara Morocco, Charlevoix Michigan, Edmonton Alberta Canada, Chanaklie Turkey, and Love River South Korea with quick jaunts to Chanute Kansas and Louisville Kentucky. I made my bones and was promoted quickly and within three years I reported directly to our Divisional G.M. He was my mentor and became a lifelong friend. I had found the second love of my life and was on cloud nine. All went tremendously for two more years and then the winds of change blew at an awkward angle. A new CEO came aboard and less than 90 days after he started my boss was gone. I had a new boss who said “you know what’s going on just keep doing it”. So I did. I ran six departments, The oversea staffing and deployment, billings, reallocations, annual and monthly budgets and budget reconciliations. We were the most profitable division in the company. My new boss quit. I didn’t get promoted, instead they made a salesman my boss. During this time I also won a year long, cost cutting contest initiated by Our new C.E.O. All of our plants from Allentown to Houston, Langhorne, Quebec, Toronto, Compton, Paris, Melbourne, et al were included. I won a RCA Color Television, Two Hundred Fifty Dollars and dinner with the C.E.O and his wife for me and my wife at The Lehigh County Country Club. This was second place for the first six months of the contest. To wrap it up I won. I received a check for $5000.00 and another dinner with the C.E.O. and his truly lovely wife. And I must say he gushed over his wife Betty both times. Trouble was I knew both of his girlfriends.I assumed this is why I wasn’t promoted. And two days later he made it a point to tell me personally that I would not receive a raise for at least two years. I resigned five weeks later. He died an arrogant, soulless man.I was employed quickly By ASGCO Mfg., LLC. I was hired to head up Human Resources and Administration. I personally interviewed and sent for second interviews about 140 individuals for positions in every department of our growing company (80 plus were hired. This was after I had screened over 2,000 applicants in a four year period. I co-authored our employee hand book which defined rules of conduct and company expectations. It also explained in detail our terrific benefit package. I recruited at major colleges and universities and made sure our administrative staff had the best training whenever new software was added. I revamped safety training in our Equipment Manufacturing shop. I was recognized for my case management of injured employees. Over a five year period we had nine individuals file unemployment compensation claims against us, all for wrongful termination. I appealed all nine cases, and won all denying compensation for each claim. It was simple. I designed, trained and implemented a fair discipline system and when a third violation of company rules was committed, termination followed immediately. I was laid off exactly five years, to the day, of my start date. My assistant was immediately promoted to H.R. Manager. She quit after less than 90 days on job.I changed professions. I spent the next 26 years in high ticket, seasonal sales. I sold above ground pools starting at $1100.00 and in ground pools starting at $32,000. During my tenure we had a pool sale of $653,000. We sold American made and Italian bars and back bars, pool tables and game tables. If you wanted a deluxe game room you came to us, we had it all and guaranteed delivery and set up in 5 days. I retired nine years ago as my MS was progressively getting worse. Yet I still hold the individual, hourly sales record. I worked 60+ hours every week but I was compensated very, very well.I got knocked down two times when I thought my work life could not get any better. I loved every job I every had, two of them fell out of love with me. It made no difference. I went from commissioning the world’s largest, indoor stacker/reclaimer in Temara, Morocco to analyzing problematic pool water samples on a pretty darn good wet lab in Center Valley, PA to selling $3600.00 shuffle boars tables and $1500.00 artificial Christmas Trees in Montgomeryville PA. To this day I have no regrets. I take that back. I regret losing my wife to cancer when she was just 58. I miss her every day.
How can we realistically "drain the swamp"?
I think all political parties want the same thing........a better quality of life for all. (2nd only to staying or getting in to power)The differences start with opinions of a process and policies in which to accomplish such.In one approach to reason, let's retreat to a period before political parties were so divided and examine a time period when our fundamental needs and desire to form a new governing body started.There will always be and we should always protect the position of an individual or group opinion as to where we the people of different opinions as a fundamental need for a governing body to accept as policy or law. (Freedom of Speech/ [non-violent] protests)I think we can agree at that point in history, the creators of the U.S. Constitution were quite brilliant in the initial drafting and crafting of the fundamental set of rules /laws established for a better quality of life for and by the people. We truly have to appreciate the bloodshed and lives sacrificed to escape govt tyranny and corruption under the then current ruling body under which the underrepresented were expected to live and obey and pay.I also believe that most people believe that treating your neighbors as you wish to be treated (Golden Rule) offers a rule of great guidance and that the world would be a better place if practiced throughout.We as a Country through this document also shaped and created our basic need to get along/exist with one another (fundamental reason we need govt) and incorporated many of the 10 commandments (Religious) as a fundamental need to co-exist with our many differences of opinion (let's agree that humans as a whole have good thoughts and evil thoughts).Through the years, amendments, new rules, new regulations, new laws, new policies are created that reflect a persons opinion or that person's ability to find like minds as a group to push and communicate with a passion to legislators to pass/ implement their new rules or laws. Pressure from these people or groups are felt by some legislators that to not pass/implement the proposed rule/law, it would be to their political demise.Rules and laws get passed many times lacking the wisdom of our forefathers and get passed with ensuing unintended consequences (sometimes as a result of human weaknesses including bribes, political contributions, party pressure, lust for power).Dilution of intent: Lawyers fight to/for the letter of the law as opposed to at times, the intent or spirit of the law.....The tentacles run deep and affect many (many have heard/read about the McDonald's hot coffee award based on the coffee being hot or the CA Coastal Commission that typically takes 5 to 10 yrs to obtain a bldg permit for one personal residence to protect the beautiful coastal Hwy 1..........one permit was held up until a study was performed providing evidence that the earthtone color of the house that could not be seen from the ocean or Hwy was not offensive to the dolphins. A cognitive brain imagery matrix was performed on dolphins in a controlled environment and a year later received the building permit........can't make this stuff up). (Remove politics from our judicial branch, perhaps impart more of the golden rule).Extremism: I often reflect on the words of the English playwright George Bernard Shaw...."The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."One could reason:"Reasonable people change and adapt to their surroundings, unreasonable people expect their surroundings to change and adapt to their whim or likings, therefore all changes in this world will be made by unreasonable people "U.S. certainly is not the most corrupt Country by any measure, but if left unchecked, will human greed and lust for power eventually corrode our govt to a measure of divisiveness reasoning another civil or worse, global war?(power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely).As humans, we shape our opinions and positions based on our past experiences (which vary in different degrees of passion and/or reason).If we can't be visionary at least lets reason that the value of hindsight should be included before establishing new laws or regulations that have far reaching unintended consequences. (Appeal for less govt). Should we not seek to be more informed in order to make more informed decisions?We will always have controversial and complex subjects (abortion, gun rights, etc) that will likely never cease having passions on both sides. Should the govt step away and let "The Golden Rule " govern? Ours is not to judge.Our governments rules, laws and policies have evolved in many cases without wisdom. I liken our govt to a PC hardrive that eventually gets full and starts running very slow or a Hwy that eventually experiences gridlock......is it time to reboot? Build more Hwy or a more efficient conveyance system?As a society we appear to have through the years, been groomed into a politically divisive society. The passions to the point of biased journalism and a divisive congress has fueled the emotions of the people to include sadness and even hate.With that long winded comment.....you may be saying, yes, we all know the problems......so what are the solutions?Thoughts :1. Term limits for Congress (transparent congressional vote to establish term limits required to be broadcast on national cable/tv). Maybe 4yr limit and can run again after 4 more yrs. (This would not be possible unless there were a mandate for the public display of individual congressional voting and transparency which would be required and set by the FCC which would require the transparent voting of each member of congress to be displayed on national TV).2. End political contributions and the money game loopholes thereof. No pharmaceutical, special interest, union , political pacts (PAC), foundation or trusts donation/contributions. (Individuals can donate up to $50/per candidate)3. Increase base pay to Congress members to $1.5 million annual. (To attract candidates that will work for the people and save the people billions through the oxymoron govt efficiency) (Tax reform of tax reform needed for this to succeed)4. Lobbying should be allowed to state position/ need only. (No $ or gifts and a Witness needs to be present during lobbyist meetings).5. FCC requires cable/mainstream media to give equal time to candidates to present their platform/positions. As well as require debates. (I would like to see a mandated Pinocchio icon in the upper right corner run by a fast fact checking war room group to encourage truth or at least display untruths).6. All members of Congress to be subject to the same laws that they pass for the people.( need procedural exceptions /policies......all transparently presented to the people), as well as retirement/health care programs they vote for. (Do unto others).Congress has a fundamental job of passing an annual budget. If Congress fails to do their job and causes a govt shutdown. Congressional pay shall cease ($4,109/day based on 1.5mil annual salary) until they do what they are paid to do. We need to prevent political games at the expense of govt employees with no consequences to those who cause it. If govt shutdown continues for more than 30-days, then an additional penalty fine of $10,000/day shall be imposed against members of Congress until they perform their job and pass a budget.7. All votes of Congress members publicly shown on TV along side the proposed legislation.(again FCC mandate)8. All congressional salary raises, bonuses not allowed without the vote of the people.9. All proposed legislation shall be limited to the subject line of the bill (No hidden or buried unrelated elements)10. Immigration: Our current govt has an unreasonable beauracracy attached to immigration. Illegal immigrants are only illegal for the most part due to the legal process being so lengthy, burdensome and unaffordable that it results in desparation and no choice but to enter illegally. The long standing solution to this problem has been to throw more money at a non working process as opposed to finding a true solution. Govt is notorious in its inability to utilize new technologies and moves much slower than the private sector. We have the technology for a vetting process. Terrorism is a global problem and needs to be addressed globally. Countries need to share applicable data tailored for immigration. If one wants to travel, they must provide initial data. We can protect privacy and still provide security. Criminal records, travel records, members of specific organizations etc. are some of what the vetting process should include. Once all the countries provide verifiable data, it is entered into a global data base. Entry, citizenship, Visa's can all be processed in minutes instead of years and at a tremendously reduced cost.Once granted entry, a probation period commences whereby the potential citizen needs to within 3 mos have a verifiable address and place adequate funds in a trust account specifically for flight tickets out of the country and within 6 mos have a verifiable job and within 18mos provide proof of the individual or family being self-supportive and that they have not committed any crimes (traffic tickets and other low grade crimes exempt) so as to not be a burden on our society. (Certain exemptions would be defined).Existing illegals have 6 mos to go through the new legal process eliminating their illegal status. Those that fail to do so likely have reason and if caught would be deported. (Certain Exemptions for children)We need to create a process that will improve the quality of life and process for immigrants, not use them or other minorities as political pawns in the lust to regain/ maintain political power. (Remember, we citizens are close to 50% Democrats & 50% Republicans and to swing a solid minority one way or the other can all but guarantee a successful vote outcome. Which means, there is no political desire to find a solution, but to by all means keep it controversial and promote the perception that your only solution is to vote for me and my party because we are the only ones looking out for you)?11. Drugs/Mental Health/homelessness: With the massive money saved with above stated efficiencies, we can perhaps afford to realistically deal with the complex problem of Drugs/ Mental Health/ homelessness. Another broken system that govt again treats the symptoms (throw more $ at the same failed system) rather than treat the cause and seek effective solutions. If we can't be visionary, let's at least benefit from 20/20 hindsight. The Crystal Ball approach presents a much riskier solution than the benefit of knowing that your identical proposed solution has already been tried somewhere else with success or failure and only now can an informed decision be made.I look at New York, Seattle, Hawaii and see a failed system that has resulted in increased homelessness.I look at Australia........Sydney (5 million people) and Melbourne (4 million people) and traveling many miles of streets for 3 weeks.......We only saw what appeared to be 4 homeless people......total!! A stroll of 1 block in Seattle, Hawaii (Honolulu) or New York will each produce greater numbers. We the people are responsible for and need to help resolve this crisis. You may say "but this is not my fault these people are homeless or on drugs or mentally ill ", however I reason that everything good or bad exists because we the people allow it to be or tolerate it. We the people are empowered with voting rights and we the people can demand that Congress effectively address this societal problem.Australia back In the 80's had a terrible drug/ homelessness problem......and now have one of the lowest ranked countries with a homelessness/drug problem........how did they resolve it?They created and utilize a step system from drug / mental health counselling and treatment all the way up to job training/ job placement. All provided by the Govt (via tax $). Yes, they have injection facilities, counselling, then pass through all the steps and end up no longer being a burden on society. I also heard (not verified) that those that fail to take advantage of this free system or repeatedly get caught shooting up in the park or on the street get a one way ticket out of the country......hmmm......if true, not sure where.....Maybe Freattle (given Seattle's growing number of homelessness)12. Capitalist vs Socialist governing and associated taxation: Capitalism follows basic reasoning that those that are more creative, work harder, build a better mouse trap will be rewarded with as much income that the free market will bear. Socialism and communism runs on the premise that there should be no class separation and that all should benefit more equally the wealth derived by others where the Govt will collect and distribute the wealth to the population with the attraction of free or heavily subsidized health care and near equal pay.Hindsight assists us in determining which form of Governing works best for the people. With Socialism/Communism History demonstrates that good intentions /promises run amuck if the bank/govt determines that the people at the bank/govt should be greatly rewarded for governing such a great system. When workers equally benefit with unequal work and or creativity, motivation to work harder or create more is lost. Quality of life in Countries governed with Socialist/Communist structure is in most cases a few notches below Countries governed with Capitalism.With that said, Countries that have partially embraced Capitalism and the Western culture like China have greatly advanced/increased GNP and have built immense wealth. Productivity skyrocketed once people were rewarded with more pay for their hard work giving incentive to work even harder. However a lot of that wealth is leaving the country and being invested in other countries due to mistrust of their own govt.Capitalism on the other hand is not without its own problems. When free market determines income/wealth, big corporations with the greedy process of Wall Street. Follow the big money and you will likely find corruption. Greed for increasing the bottom line with the same widget will ultimately need to find a way to cut the cost of the components of the widget itself and the sacrifices can be harmful to our quality of life. This is seen most harmful in our food and pharmaceutical products as well as jeopardized quality in our building products and other areas of our disposable/throw away culture. GMO, processed sugars, allowed fillers, bribes and corruption in the approvals process (drain the swamp). The FDA allows filler in many food products. One company in compliance producing parmesan cheese started fudging as inspections became infrequent and under pressure to increase its bottom line of the company, they increased the use of filler. An investigative group lab tested the cheese and found it had many things......except cheese! It consisted mainly of a wood product Cellulose which is the main sugar in plants — a polysaccharide that humans aren’t equipped to digest. It’s the main constituent of paper and cardboard. Quite amazing, as to appearance, texture, flavor, melting properties, it appeared to be cheese. (Hmmm....allergies, obesity, disease......did you know the average life span of the American has gone down!....with all our medical advances......hmmmm).Income class separation is evolving as another problem to be reckoned with.Perhaps the solution is a hybrid form of Governing......not departing from Capitalism, but taming of its problems through taxation. This would be taxation of those people/entities making the obnoxiously high income ....... you know, the banker and hedge fund managers making an annual salary pittance of 3 million and annual bonuses of $300 million, leaving most people on earth thinking how could you even spend all that money and how are they avoiding paying taxes. We need to fund our societal problems that we are all responsible for. Why not for example add a couple upper, upper income brackets and once that bracket is entered all write offs go away. Let's say a 50% tax bracket starts at $20 million (so the taxpayer makes $19,999,999 under current tax reform taxed at 21% if run through his corp/LLC)Then a 90% bracket kicks in at $50 million (so now he keeps $15 million plus $100k for every mil thereafter).In this rough example after write offs a taxable income of $100 mil, the taxpayer would keep roughly 16+15+5= $36 million (which I believe still keeps the motivation to create and get rewarded for the efforts) and would pay $64 million in fed income tax (to fund our societal needs).In end, we the people have become extremely divisive in party politics. Strong emotions have overcome reason. Politics has indeed even corrupted our judicial branch....collusion polution..... Perhaps it is time to reboot. (Clique "drain the swamp"). We all hear it "follow the money " or "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely "Humans are weak and the greater the number of temptations, the higher the probability of corruption. 40 yrs in congress is too long........the Country Club mentality and associated hidden gifts must stop if we truly want a govt for the people. We are all different and accordingly need a balanced approach to govt which requires logic and reasonableness , not decisions based on devisive partisan emotions.Who of our elected will be brave enough to tackle this monster of change. One might add that having the fox watch the henhouse is unreasonable. We are only empowered by uncorrupt voting. I believe this is why Trump got elected. Not a politician or member of the Congress country club, but an outsider.Trump Voter reasoning: There is less likelihood of being bribed or bought since he doesn't need the money. Could bring his business saavy to actually bring some govt efficiency to the table. No tentacles of corruption to keep him under control by the GOP or the DNC. He's not afraid of a fight. Is Trump the one who could tackle this monster of change?Particularly in politics today....."actions speak louder than words ".Without invocation of all of the above, let's step back, not read tweets, put in our earplugs, turn off the propaganda machines of both political parties....Turn off all the political noise.......Since the election, what actions have taken place that have either improved or diminished our quality of life and addressed the main concerns of voters before the election which included economy, jobs, personal income, national security, health care, taxes, social programs and quality of life.I said turn off the TV and read not any tweets and forget for one moment that Trump is POTUS.1. Economy/Jobs: Big Companies (employers) are relocating back into USA along with expansion plans and additional hiring along with associated new jobs which will proliferate peripheral small businesses (coffee shops to retail and services business) to support the new working/payroll force resulting in more tax revenue for local and federal govts.2. Free Market: Stock Market demonstrating global confidence that U.S. companies are in a growth position (physical and financial). Breaking historic records (we will see swings).3. Tax reform: Jury is still out. The Market says its the greatest thing since popcorn. Early indicators include reactions by some companies big and small delving out employee bonuses citing tax reform as their reason and announcing company expansion along with new job creations.But with all the gives and takes, will the majority of Americans at year end make more money (stock options, 401k, investment opportunities) . Will they keep more of their earned wages or give more to the govt?This is a wait and see if business expansion and the supply/demand of qualified workers result in wage increases (bonuses are good but technically could be only a one time benefit).The associated peripheral biz growth will increase govt tax revenue, but will it increase personal income and improve ones quality of life?4. Security: Forget all the political fear mongering for a minute (emotions) and lets assume that nobody will start a war where they know they will be the loser and will be removed from power. Carry a big stick........ ISIS being the exception to this rational line of thinking is currently being minimized........I feel more secure (slightly).5. Health Care: Jury still out......The ACA was on a course to implosion......true, but did the only notable change being the removal of the penalty for healthy people not participating in the plan make the ACA any better? We need to treat the problem, not just throw more money at the symptoms and ignore the cause. (Invocation of above solutions would contribute greatly to the reduction of our health care problem).6. Social Programs: Fail. We have/are not resolving our social ills. However simply throwing more money at a failed concept is not the answer. (Invocation of above solutions would contribute greatly to the reduction of our social programs problem).7. Quality of life: All indicators point to a higher quality of life in most segments. However I see no improvement in quality of life for those in need (mentally ill, drug addiction, homelessness). I see a slight improvement to the Veterans treatment and their quality of life. (In my opinion, invocation of above solutions would contribute greatly to the improvement of our quality of life )
When diesel is coming to an end eventually, what will be the alternative for large trucks? Electric? Or Hydrogen?
What always happens. We innovate. We think, and we create.alternatives to diesel for freight transportIN SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING BY KATE BACHMANAPRIL 12, 20116 COMMENTSFreight vehicles, the behemoths of the road, haul as much as 80,000 pounds of product from coast to coast and pole to pole. Commercial vehicles consume as much as one-third of all motive fuel and are a significant emissions contributor, according to the Center for American Progress.Unless they employ returnable packaging/racking systems, deliveryof freight is the last leg of a manufacturer’s production cycle. Whether a manufacturer purchases and manages its own freight fleet or outsources it to a freight transport company, transporting sustainably produced goods by less than ecofriendly means can be a last-round black eye on an otherwise green production process and canmuck up the works for even the greenest of manufacturers.Increasingly, fuel cost increases, government regulations (see Government Regulations sidebar), and concern for the environment are driving manufacturers to explore alternative fuel and power sources for the freight fleets that deliver their products (see Trucking Industry Heavyweights Develop SuperTruckssidebar).Several new and newer alt-powered vehicles and fuel types were showcased at the Mid-America Trucking Show in April in Louisville, Ky.Six major types of alternative-powered systems and alternative fuels include electric drive trains, hybrid-electric drive trains, hydraulic hybrid power systems, natural gas-, biodiesel-, and propane-fueled.So how do the drive trains or fuel systems work? How are they different from traditional propulsion systems? What are their best applications?1. ElectricElectric drive systems are powered by an electric motor or generator, with power stored onboard in battery packs. They consume no fossil fuels for propulsion or operation.Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) a Daimler Trucks NA company, Gaffney, S.C., has begun full production of an all-electric, light-freight delivery truck chassis—the first in the industry. The chassis is currently undergoing testing with major U.S. pickup and delivery fleets (see Figure 1).“In partnership with Enova, we have developed an all-electric chassis to meet the environmental, economic, and performance needs of our commercial vehicle customers,” said FCCC President Bob Harbin. This is the only walk-in van chassis in the industry to be completely electrically powered, Harbin said.Figure 1An all-electric chassis, co-developed with Enova Systems and using Tesla lithium-ion batteries, powers FCCC’s E-Cell walk-in van. The E-Cell is the only domestically engineered all-electric chassis, and the industry’s first in North America. Image courtesy of Enova Systems, Torrance, Calif.Enova, Torrance, Calif., contributes “enabling technologies” in alternative-energy propulsion systems for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. The project involved the engineering and integration of Enova’s 120-kilowatt (kW) all-electric drive system technology into FCCC’s new MT-45 chassis.The electric chassis’ power storage—including its HVAC system—uses Tesla Motors lithium-ion batteries. FCCC is the first company within the industry to use Tesla batteries for commercial applications, said Mike Staran, president and CEO of Enova Systems. The drive system’s 120 kW battery packs have a maximum100-mile driving range on a single charge. The battery pack charges from fully depletedto fully charged in six to eight hours.The batteries also capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle’s operation. The regenerative braking system saves energy by recycling and storing it, instead of losing it to heat, which can then be reused to propel the vehicle.Because the range of an electric vehicle is limited by weight, design, and the type of battery used, EVs are particularly well-suited to short-distance, high-use applications—those that demand frequent starts and stops, such as light-duty delivery vehicles.2. Hybrid ElectricEaton Corporation, Cleveland, develops and manufactures hybrid electric power systems for freight vehicles, which boost fuel economy and reduce particulate emissions in trucks as well as buses and service vehicles, according to Eaton’s James Parks, manager of global communications fleets (see Figure 2).“By definition, a hybrid vehicle uses two or more distinct power sources to move,” Parks said. “Our hybrid system combines a truck’s traditional internal combustion engine with an electric motor and batteries to move the vehicle forward. Then, through regenerative braking, the system recharges itself.”On average, hybrid electric power systems can reduce fuel consumption by 35 percent—in some applications, the reduction can be even higher. The applications that realize the best fuel efficiencies using this hybrid power system are commercial vehicles that stop and start frequently or that idle at work sites to run accessories or tools, Parks added.Figure 2Hybrid electric power systems combine a truck’s traditional internal combustion engine with an electric motor and batteries to move the vehicle forward. They can reduce fuel consumption by 35 percent. Image courtesy of Eaton Corp., Cleveland.Eaton’s patented hybrid electric power system uses a parallel configuration that maintains the vehicle’s conventional drive train layout and uses patented controls to blend engine torque with electric torque to move the vehicle.The system recovers power normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. It can provide engine-off power, take off and work-site capability for those needing hydraulic operations and an auxiliary electric power source from the vehicle.“To build the system, we couple the vehicle’s engine with our own UltraShift® automated manual transmission and clutch,” Parks said. “Between the output side of the clutch and the transmission, we integrate an electric motor/generator that is connected to a power inverter and lithium-ion batteries and controlled with our own electronic control module.”Diesel/Electric. Florence, Ky.,-based ePower Engine Systems LLC, a developer of hybrid drive train technology, debuted the company’s proprietary diesel/electric engine system for the over-the-road transportation industry at the Mid-America Trucking Show.The hybrid technology reduces fuel consumption—and hence CO2production—by as much as 65 percent under normal conditions of use and without reducing performance, according to the company.The system can be retrofitted and uses off-the-shelf components.No advanced battery technology is employed in the epower engine system. Instead, standard lead acid batteries are used.3. Hydraulic HybridEaton also produces hydraulic hybridpower trains. The company’s patented Hydraulic Launch Assist™ or HLA® hydraulic hybrid system has two main parts—regeneration and acceleration, Eaton’s Parks said.For acceleration, the fluid in the high-pressure accumulator is released to drive the pump/motor as a motor. The motor then propels the vehicle by transmitting torque to the driveshaft.During regeneration, the vehicle’s kinetic energy that is normally lost during braking is captured and used to drive the pump/motor as a pump. The pump action transfers hydraulic fluid from a low-pressure reservoir to a high-pressure accumulator, he explained. As the fluid pumps into the accumulator it compresses nitrogen gas and pressurizes the system. The regenerative braking captures about 70 percent of the kinetic energy produced during braking.“Accumulatively, customers using our hybrid systems globally have reduced their fuel consumption by 6 million gallons and harmful emissions by 60,000 metric tons over more than 150 million miles,” Parks said.4. Natural GasNatural gas is emerging as a domestically available and economical alternative to diesel fuel.Natural gas, comprised mostly of methane, is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, according to the Center for American Progress. It says natural gas produces less than half as much carbon pollution as coal for electricity and up to 25 percent less than oil for transportation.But methane has some drawbacks. One is its low energy content. It takes about 100 cubic feet of methane to deliver the same amount of horsepower as a gallon of gasoline. Consequently, natural gas must be compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG), and it requires heavy, high-pressure fuel tanks.LNG and CNG are replacements for petro-diesel and are suitable to fuel heavy-freight vehicles, as well as cars, the center states.Compressed. To provide adequate driving range, CNG must be stored onboard a vehicle in tanks at high pressure—up to 3,600 pounds per square inch, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE). A CNG-powered vehicle gets about the same fuel economy as a conventional gasoline vehicle on a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) basis, according to the DOE. (A GGE is the amount of alternative fuel that contains the same amount of energy as a gallon of gasoline. A GGE equals about 5.7 lbs. of CNG.)Liquefied. One way to extend the driving range of a natural gas-powered vehicle is to liquefy the natural gas (LNG). Chilling methane to -260 degrees F reduces its volume by a factor of 630-to-1, allowing more fuel to be stored in a smaller tank. During this process, when the natural gas is cooled below its boiling point, certain concentrations of hydrocarbons, water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and some sulfur compounds are either reduced or removed.LNG is also less than half the weight of water, so it will float if spilled on water. At atmospheric pressure, LNG occupies only 1/600 the volume of natural gas in vapor form. A GGE equals about 1.5 gallons of LNG, the DOE says.Because it must be kept at such cold temperatures, LNG is stored in double-wall, vacuum-insulated pressure vessels. LNG fuel systems typically are used only in heavy-duty vehicles.But a supercold cryogenic fuel tank cannot keep the methane liquid cold indefinitely. As the fuel warms up, it begins to vaporize and must either be vented or used.LNG costs more than CNG because of the costs of the chilling equipment.As a motor fuel, LNG has the highest octane rating—130—of any of the other alternatives, which means it can handle compression ratios of up to 15-to-1.Landfill Gas. Waste Management, based in Houston, is evaluating and developing a range of technologies that could create fuel, such as LNG, for fleet and other vehicles from landfill gas.The company is not only a leading provider of waste services that include collection, transfer, recycling, and resource recovery and disposal, it is also the largest residential recycler and a leading developer, operator, and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in North America, according to Wes Muir, director of corporate communications for Waste Management.Waste Management has the world’s largest fleet of heavy-duty natural gas refuse and recycling trucks—853: 351 compressed natural gas and 491 liquefied natural gas, Muir added.“Our company is committed to extracting the maximum value from the materials it manages by converting materials’ waste into beneficial reuse products such as renewable energy, transportation fuels, and chemicals,” Muir said.5. BiodieselCommon compression-ignition internal combustion engines are traditionally fueled by diesel derived from petroleum oil. Biodiesel can completely or partially replace diesel fuel. It is an organically based product and is renewable.Biodiesel is relatively easily produced from plant and animal oils, fats, and greases and often is a byproduct of food processing. (see “Biodiesel—ready to rumble; Engine-ready, less toxic than table salt, more biodegradable than sugar.”)Compared to diesel fuel, biodiesel is cleaner-burning, made from natural, renewable sources such as vegetable oils; and produces lower carbon emissions than diesel, according to the National Biodiesel Board.“Biodiesel can be operated in any compression-ignition (diesel) engine with little or no modification to the engine or the fuel system,” the bBoard said in the article.“Biodiesel is the first and only alternative fuel to have a complete evaluation of emission results and potential health effects submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA under the Clean Air Act Section 211(b),” according to the board.The results show that pure biodiesel (B100) has 67 percent fewer total unburned hydrocarbons; 48 less carbon monoxide; and 47 percent less particulate matter than diesel fuel.6. PropanePropane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is another alternative to petrol. Like natural gas, propane is a gaseous fuel, so it is a vapor at room temperature and must be contained in a special high-pressure fuel cylinder. About 60 percent of the propane that is produced comes from natural gas wells; the rest is a byproduct of crude oil refining.“Propane offers an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel and gasoline, increases energy security, and provides significant economic savings,” said Brian Feehan, vice president of the Propane Education & Research Council at an Alternative Fuels & Vehicles National Conference & Expo in May 2010.Cummins,www.cummins.comDaimler Trucks North America, www.daimlertrucksnorthamerica.comEaton,www.eaton.comEnova Systems, www.enovasystems.comFreightliner Custom Chassis Corp., www.freightlinerchassis.comNational Biodiesel Board (NBB), www.biodiesel.orgNavistar Inc., www.navistar.comPeterbilt, www.peterbilt.comPropane Education & Research Council, www.propanecouncil.orgU.S. Department of Energy, www.energy.govWaste Management Co., www.wm.comGovernment Regulations, Incentives Driving ChangeEPA regulations have prompted truck-makers to produce trucks with engine and exhaust combinations that greatly reduce emissions levels, including particulate matter and nitrous oxides (NOx).Some of the most stringent of these have been set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), an arm of the California EPA. In 1998 the board published findings identifying diesel exhaust particulate matter (PM) as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems, especially in children and the elderly.CARB’s On-Road Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles (In-Use) Regulation, initiated in 2008, required fleets operating in California and weighing more than 14,000 pounds to reduce diesel truck emissions by retrofitting or replacing existing engines by the end of 2010. A February 2011amendment extended the deadline to helptrucking companies comply.On Jan. 5, President Obama signed into law the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) (see Ecosavvy Newsmakers, p. 12). This new legislation reauthorizes the 2005 DERA for another five years and $100 million a year. The diesel program, created through the cooperation of industrial, environmental, governmental, and other groups, was designed to reduce emissions in older diesel engines and to encourage truck-makers to produce trucks with engine and exhaust combinations that have greatly reduced emissions levels, especially particulate matter and nitrous oxides.Tax incentives and subsidies help drive down the costs of alternative-powered freight transportation, making it more cost-competitive with other fuel sources and transport vehicles. The biodiesel tax incentive that expired at the end of 2009 has been reinstated retroactively through 2011. The act provides a $1 per gallon production tax credit for biodiesel and biodiesel mixtures as well as a $0.10 per gallon agri-biodiesel producer credit.Trucking Industry Heavyweights Develop SuperTrucksIn January 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $115 million in funding to three major manufacturers to develop highly efficient fleet vehicles to improve fuel efficiency by 50 percent by 2015.The DOE chose Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America, and Navistar to develop “Super Trucks.” Every aspect of energy consumption by a Class 8 tractor-trailer will be addressed through the development and integration of advanced technologies. The manufacturers are to apply the $115 million to develop and demonstrate systems-level fuel efficiency technologies, including improved aerodynamics,engine idling reduction, waste heat recovery, advanced combustion techniques, and power train hybridization.The funding is part of a larger effort announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu to invest $187 million in nine projects to improve fuel efficiency in heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles.“Improving the efficiency of our vehicles is critical to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and addressing climate change,” said Chu. “Today’s awards will help demonstrate the potential benefits for long-haul trucks and passenger vehicles and will play an important role in building a more sustainable transportation system for the country.”Cummins, Columbus, Ind., was awarded nearly $39 million to develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor-trailer combination, and a fuel cell auxiliary power unit to reduce engine idling, the DOE’s announcement stated.Cummins chose Peterbilt Motors Co., a division of PACCAR, to partner on the project to develop an aerodynamic tractor and trailer combination.Cummins also selected Eaton to participate in the program to develop a next-generation automated transmission, Eaton spokesperson James Parks, manager of global communications, said.Other technologies Cummins uses to reduce emissions include a NOx adsorber catalyst, selective catalytic reduction, cooled exhaust gas recirculation, diesel particulate filters, and diesel oxidation catalysts.Daimler Trucks North America, Portland, Ore., received about $40 million to develop and demonstrate technologies including engine downsizing, electrification of auxiliary systems such as oil and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics, and hybridization. The funding is shared by DTNA’s sister company, Detroit Diesel.Navistar Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., has tapped more than $37 million to develop and demonstrate technologies to improve truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction, and reduced rolling resistance tires.The participating manufacturers’ leadership welcomed the SuperTrucks funding and the accompanying challenge. “This funding enables us to significantly accelerate our research and development of advanced technologies,” said Elmar Boeckenhoff, senior vice president, engineering and technology, for DTNA and director of the DTNA SuperTruck project team.“Companies that master sustainability and leverage it as a competitive advantage will emerge as the leaders in the coming decade,” Eaton Chairman, Alexander “Sandy” Cutler said of the project.” Our company’s ability to develop innovative products and processes that help customers and consumers conserve resources and reduce their carbon footprint is crucial in making Eaton one of those leaders. Eaton’s success in this area is a key factor in achieving competitive advantage and making the world a better place,” Cutler added.The projects are expected to create more than 6,000 research, engineering, manufacturing and assembly jobs.SHARE THIS POST
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