DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich.—Advancements in anti-idle technology were on display March 22 as engineers with the U.S. DEVCOM Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and project leaders with the Joint Program Office-Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) demonstrated the operational benefits of the center’s Tactical Vehicle Electrification Kit (TVEK) integrated on a JLTV.
The anti-idle system automatically cuts engine power to the JLTV during periods of extended idling, not only reducing fuel but also extending silent watch, which is a clear advantage for warfighters who don't want to give away their positions by turning on the vehicle engine unnecessarily.
“The optimized TVEK anti-idle technology will provide enhanced operational capability to users by reducing the frequency of refueling and increasing silent watch capability for reconnaissance tasks,” said Lt. Col. John Nelson, who is Product Manager for JLTV Systems Integration at JPO-JLTV.
“The TVEK anti-idle program demonstrates the highly functional and complimentary relationship between the Joint Program Office JLTV and GVSC, allowing for rapid technological development that is able to transition to eventual production and fielding,” Nelson said.
Dean McGrew, GVSC Branch Chief for Powertrain Electrification, said the anti-idle system aims to improve on vehicle electrification and hybridization, which also supports Army climate change initiatives.
“Anti-idle represents the most important, and lowest cost, of the legs to extend mission duration and can improve a vehicle’s typical fuel use, depending on mission profile,” McGrew said.
“In the case with the JLTV, our goal with the TVEK is 20 percent in fuel savings with 50 percent less engine run time,” he said. “This increases the amount of time for silent watch by twofold.”
Earlier this month, the Army approved the Tactical and Combat Vehicle Electrification initiative that lays out the framework for all tactical wheeled vehicles to move toward electrification over the next 30 years by weight class, beginning with the light vehicle fleet.
The demonstration showed a two-minute vehicle runtime to charge the system, enabling six minutes of silent (engine-off) operation, and full-field operations are expected to retain this ratio with a full hour of engine-off operation with 20 minutes of engine-on charging time.
“The demonstration proved to be well-aligned with modeling and simulation predictions, and the team expects follow-on testing to show a fuel savings of 17 percent for typical operational use,” said Josh Tylenda, GVSC project manager for anti-idle systems.
The JLTV anti-idle system includes lithium-ion batteries in the 6T form factor and electrified air conditioning.
“During anti-idle, vehicle communications, vehicle electronics and HVAC will remain operational with engine power automatically restored based on operator inputs or battery state of charge,” Tylenda said.
The TVEK kit also provides fuel-fired heating to maintain cabin temperatures in cold operating environments, an anti-idle controller with interlocks to implement engine on and off in anti-idle mode along with battery charging management and a human machine interface screen to report system status. It also includes safety advances to prevent operation in unsafe conditions.
Vehicle electrification expertise has borne fruit in the successful senior leader review (Army Requirements Oversite Committee) of the Electric Lightweight Reconnaissance Vehicle Abbreviated Capability Development Document (A-CDD), allowing the concept to continue forward with GVSC’s acquisition community partners.
“This demonstration is the first step in moving toward hybrid and electric vehicles as we work to reduce logistics demands across the tactical vehicle fleet,” said Steve Roberts, Project Lead – Integration, U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS).
“At project initiation, our goal was to build upon the lessons learned from TVEK demonstrators and leverage GVSC’s vast design, modelling and simulation, and test capabilities to build a JLTV anti-idle proof of concept,” said Adam Puzzuoli, JPO JLTV Chief Engineer, PEO CS&CSS. “Through close coordination, the PM and GVSC teams achieved this goal and exceeded all phase 1 deliverables.”