Power Drives powers up at RI2015

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Power Drives 2

Power Drives, Inc. (PDI), a Buffalo, N.Y.-based supplier of diesel engine heating/idle reduction and fuel filtration systems with manufacturing facilities in Erie, Pa., Falconer (Jamestown), N.Y., and Haiyu Town, Changsu City, China, spotlighted two recently introduced technologies at Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis.

PDI’s new fully synthetic, dual-layered diesel fuel filtration system, co-developed with Schroeder Industries, “offers two times the service life of traditional cellulose-based filters,” according to President and CEO Lou Panzica. “The driving force in diesel fuel filtration are the requirements that Tier 3 and 4 engines need to meet lower PM (particulate matter) entrainment levels, as well as reduced tolerance for entrained water. Non-Tier 4 locomotives will also benefit from removal of particulates that cause wear and tear and malfunctions of critical components, enhancing the life of the locomotive.”

Power Drives 2The filter (pictured, with Global Accounts Manager Eric Knechtel), according to PDI, “increases dirt-holding capacity by 242% vs. an OEM unit; offers an efficiency of 99.98% of particles at 4 microns or greater and a 50% pressure drop reduction; doubles the life between change-outs, with half the maintenance installation time; and offers improved cleanliness per ISO Code 4406, which exceeds Tier 4 requirements. A more robust end cap prevents deformation, allowing the filter to sit flush and seal properly, eliminating common misalignment and premature failure problems.”

PDI’s Powerhouse™ Diesel Warming System (DWS) is available in two configurations: The DWS-APU and the DWS-120. The DWS-APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) incorporates a Tier 4-compliant, 9.5 hp single-cylinder Kubota® engine. The DWS-120 operates from an 120/240 VAC, 5/2.5-amp external electric power source.

Both units, described as “compact,” feature the Powerhouse™ Heat Exchanger, rated at 136,000 BTUs/hour (40kW). The heat exchanger “provides rapid coolant heating plus rock-solid reliability,” maintaining an engine coolant temperature of 100 degrees F “even in the coldest of temperatures.” Its diesel burner draws fuel directly from the locomotive fuel tank. A 25 GPM (gallons per minute), 72 VDC electric water pump circulates heated water and/or coolant. A 5 GPM oil circulating pump is available.

The DWS-APU consists of two modular components, the APU and the heat exchanger/pump, that can be mounted up to 20 feet apart, “providing installation flexibility and a smaller footprint.” Its Kubota engine drives a 72 VDC, 80-amp alternator that supplies power to electronic controls and a 35 amp locomotive battery trickle charger. It consumes, on average, 0.38 GPH (gallons per hour) of fuel once at temperature.

The DWS-120 consumes, on average, 0.35 GPH of fuel once at temperature. This unit, says Panzica, “is ideal for ‘captive’ locomotives not employed in interchange service.”

PDI is an OEM supplier to GE Transportation’s Erie and Fort Worth, Tex., locomotive manufacturing plants and Grove City, Pa., engine plant, a relationship that dates back to the mid-1980s. The DWS-APU is OEM equipment on GE’s Powerhaul export locomotives. The company has been in business since 1945.

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