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"It’s a win-win for fuel efficiency and performance"
The Volvo VNL is one of the most adaptable trucks on the road. "We can spec each truck to address the specific needs of each customer," says regional vice president, West region, Wade Long. For instance, Volvo Trucks pioneered downspeeding, so it’s not surprising they should bring it to the next level with the new Fuel Efficiency packages.
Now, says Long, with a new generation of engines, I-Shift transmissions, software and trucks, “we can make application-specific solutions with our XE packages that exceed our customers’ expectations for fuel efficiency and driver productivity.”
This truck exceeds customers' expectations for fuel efficiency and driver productivity
TC for extra XE Although all Volvo engines can be configured with XE packages, product marketing manager John Moore says the biggest improvement comes when you drop a new D13 Turbo Compound (TC) engine into a new Volvo VNL.
In the Turbo Compound, heat energy escaping the engine is captured by the turbo flywheel and redirected back into the system. When the engine creates peak torque, it also creates the greatest amount of heat energy.
The D13 TC, combined with the right rear axle ratios, can generate peak torque while cruising as low as 1050 rpm. The engine offers shift points with full power down to 950 rpm.
“The beauty there is, the engine is saving fuel because it’s running at lower rpm, but also driving a turbo unit that’s maximizing efficiency at peak torque,” Moore says. “It’s a win-win for fuel efficiency and performance, plus there’s less wear and tear on the engine because pistons are running less.”
A new XE Another recent development is the XE-Economy package. XE-Economy switches torque curves in more gears, depending on the engine load. While providing torque on demand — say, when climbing hills — the XE-economy package utilizes I-Shift transmission and rear axle ratios to save fuel when high torque isn’t needed.
Adaptations Other improvements provide more savings. Adaptive Gearing works with the Volvo I-Shift to lock out the top gear on a fully loaded truck for better performance. When the truck unloads and returns empty, the top gear is available to run more efficiently at lower rpms.
“That lets the driver get home faster and it’s more fuel efficient in overdrive,” product marketing manager Allison Athey says.
Taking a load off Athey says Adaptive Loading works much the same way. Proprietary software senses load weight and torque requirements. When appropriate, the truck automatically lifts an axle off the road to run more efficiently.
Integration, says Athey, is the key. “We build specific software in the engine that knows when to shift at lower rpms to manage the torque.”
“But all our components are fully integrated. They speak the same language. They are literally tuned, built, and made to work together.”
Product Marketing Manager
Cruising at 1050 rpm
The XE packages and the new D13 TC engine is a perfect match. The turbo unit compresses the heated air to turn a flywheel connected to a gear, which returns an additional 50 hp to the drive train. The D13 TC maintains peak torque while cruising as low as 1050 rpm, saving fuel without sacrificing power.
New Fuel Efficiency
Squeezing more from every drop
The XE engine package creates efficiencies. I-Shift transmission with overdrive and I-See predictive cruise control create savings both in heavy traffic and on the open road. Packages include low rolling resistance tires for even more fuel savings.
Adaptive Gearing locks out the overdrive (12th) gear on a fully loaded truck, making the transmission a direct drive to increase performance. “Adaptive Gearing gives good drivability back to the truck,” says Wade Long. “That keeps drivers in Volvo trucks longer.” Also, in states and provinces with 55 mph speed limits, the truck can stay in top gear at slower engine speeds, then run at higher speeds in the same gear in other states.
Adaptive Loading automatically senses when the truck is empty and lifts an axle off the pavement, reducing friction and saving fuel. “Say you’re hauling bulk fuel,” Wade Long says. “When you go out loaded, you need all the torque you can get. On the way back empty, the truck can lift an axle and save fuel. It happens automatically, completely independent of the driver.”