Happy Earth Week! LifeBridge Health consistently strives to find new ways to be more “green.” Knowing this, last month Metropolitan Healthcare Services arranged for a demo of a new hybrid shuttle bus on the Sinai Hospital campus.
The hybrid bus – outfitted with an add-on accessory called the VTM S-3000 Hybrid Power System from Cummins Crosspoint – is akin to the Toyota Prius. However, instead of batteries, the VTM (which stands for “Variable Torque Motors,” the company that makes them) S-3000 uses technology called an ultra capacitor. (Doesn’t that sound like something out of Back to the Future?).
When the bus is in motion, it often stores or draws power from the ultra capacitor. So when the bus is coasting or breaking, power is transferred to the ultra capacitor to be stored for future use. When the bus is accelerating, it uses the stored power in the ultra capacitor first and then draws upon the gas engine after the ultra capacitor’s power is depleted. (I just love saying ultra capacitor.)
Here’s the technology in action -
A window in the floor of the bus shows the hybrid motor, which is connected to the front engine:
When the bus is coasting, power is stored back into the ultra capacitor. A monitor in the demo bus shows in real time exactly how much energy is being generated:
When the bus is accelerating, the VTM S-3000 uses its stored power to “boost” the bus so the vehicle doesn’t use gas. (Once the stored power is depleted, then the bus switches to its diesel engine.):
The amazing VTM S-3000 uses an ultra capacitor instead of batteries:
The VTM S-3000 also adds torque to the engine to boost its acceleration. In other words, it takes less gas to get going than a conventional bus. The power system can be added to new or used buses, converting them into hybrid vehicles.
Denny Beyer, parking manager at Sinai, says the institution is considering adding the hybrid power system to its current fleet of 20 diesel fuel buses.
“The hybrid bus has more longevity and 20 to 30 percent better fuel economy, which will save us money in the long run,” says Denny. “Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.”
From L to R: Denny Beyer, parking manager; Lionel Weeks, VP of Facilities Management; Andy Armetta, director, Property and Fleet Management; Scott Kowaleski, transportation manager.
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