Bergstrom, Firefly Energy Agree To Test, Co-Market NITE™ Sleeper Cab Cooling System

January 29, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Bergstrom Inc., makers of the NITE™ no-idle thermal system for truck sleeper cabs, and Firefly Energy Inc. have announced an agreement to test and co-market the NITE system alongside Firefly Energy’s Oasis™ BCI Group 31 truck battery. The agreement is designed to give drivers and fleets a cost-effective means to achieve all-night sleeper cab cooling with the engine shut off.

The NITE™ system combines a light weight, fully functional air conditioning (A/C) system and a compact air heating system, both designed to work independently of a truck’s main engine. When used effectively, the NITE system virtually eliminates overnight truck idling. An available eight-pound air heating system keeps the sleeper compartment continuously warm all night, using just 0.03 to 0.06 gallons of diesel fuel per hour, compared to one to 1.5 gallons per hour wasted during normal idling time. The NITE system is available for purchase with the A/C system only or with a combination of the air conditioner and heater.

According to Terry Ziegler, Bergstrom’s Vice President and General Manager for Electrified Products who is involved with the tests, the Oasis™ battery to be introduced by Firefly Energy in 2008 is hoped to prove suitable to fully power NITE’s™ A/C system. "Our efficient 72-pound cooling system fits any truck and operates independently of the truck’s electrical system. The purpose of using the Oasis battery is to allow drivers to simply switch on power for their sleeper cab’s A/C and shut off their engines overnight."

Firefly Energy Senior Vice President and Co-Founder Mil Ovan said the Oasis battery "will deliver deeper and more reliable discharges and faster recharges. It will also save significantly on battery weight and size, with less frequent replacement intervals. We believe competitive deep-cycle batteries used in trucking start to show sizeable performance drop-offs after some 200 deep discharge cycles. Anti-diesel engine idling regulations are being enforced across the country. By agreeing to co-market the NITE™ system alongside the Oasis™ battery, Bergstrom and Firefly Energy aim to provide the trucking industry with a powerful one-two solution to achieving long-lasting sleeper cab comfort, fuel savings, and pollution reduction."

Firefly Energy’s battery features a high surface area, non-corrodible and light weight Microcell™ foam material. The company claims that the microcell battery electrodes unleash the high power potential of lead acid chemistry which was impossible to achieve in the past. This technology is said to reduces the lead content and allows the batteries to be more powerful yet lighter. Improved discharging and recharging significantly is said to extend the battery’s life, and to make it more environmentally friendly, and less expensive than lithium and nickel battery chemistries.

Firefly Energy announced earlier that initial quantities of the first Oasis™ batteries will be available this summer, with full production scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2008.