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Axle Temperature Control Progress Report. February 28, 2011. Team Members Lee Zimmerman Boun Sinvongsa Emery Frey Mike Erwin Industry Advisor Dave Ruuhela , Daimler Trucks North America Academic Advisor Lemmy Meekisho. Introduction.

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axle temperature control progress report

Axle Temperature Control Progress Report

February 28, 2011

Team Members

Lee Zimmerman


Emery Frey

Mike Erwin

Industry Advisor

Dave Ruuhela, Daimler Trucks North America

Academic Advisor



2.25% of energy required to operate a truck at a steady highway speed is lost in the drive train

Increasing the lubricant fluid temp reduces the energy loss

A 1% improvement in efficiency would save each truck $800 per year

external search
External Search

Toyota Prius exhaust gas exchanger

PADI Inc. Insulation Jackets

E.J. Bowman Heat Exchangers

Wolverine Engine Oil Heaters

internal search
Internal Search
  • Heat Exchanger
    • Exhaust Gas or Engine Coolant Heat Sources
  • Electric Heater
    • Heating Element Inside Differential
  • Passive Insulation
  • Active Insulation
    • Insulation with a heat management solution
risk evaluation
Risk Evaluation

Design is highly dependant on assumptions and difficult to model. Testing of assumptions will be key.

Reliability and cost considerations make more complex designs less feasible

progress on detailed design
Progress on Detailed Design

To get a first approximation of insulation effectiveness, a simplified spherical model was used.

controlled cooling
Controlled Cooling

If insulation works as well as expected the fluid would potentially overheat on hot days

The fluid temperature could be maintained in the specified range by controlling forced convection

forced convection control
Forced Convection Control

A valve/flap mechanism would provide temperature control with minimal power use.


While the insulation is expected be sufficient for warming the fluid, a cooling system will need to be designed

Future testing on an operating axle will provide information on the most effective locations for the cooling system and confirm the effectiveness of insulation