An Australia-based company has developed a stop/start motor technology that the inventor thinks could reduce the likelihood of high level exposure to diesel fumes becoming the next big occupational health threat to affect the world mining and trucking industries.
Hydraulic engineer and inventor, Norm Mathers, believes continued exposure to diesel fumes could expose the Australia and world mining and trucking industries to multiple public liability claims.
His company, Mathers Hydraulics Technology (MHT), believes it could reduce such exposure.
Warnings about harmful exposure have led to the European Union demanding direct action on reducing use in trucks and buses by 2025, according to Mather. In addition, in June 2012, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) classified diesel emissions (including diesel particulates matter) as a known human carcinogen.
“Similar to coal dust, diesel exhaust includes inorganic particulate matter, which is largely carbon. Being inorganic, it is likely to be insoluble in the body, and, it would seem, could affect the body in a similar manner as coal dust which has been found to be a direct cause of black lung disease,” Mathers said.
MHT has developed a technology to reduce diesel emissions by turning engines off when idle and, thereby, reducing emissions significantly in heavy traffic conditions. Stop/start technology on petrol-engine cars has proved to be both highly effective and widely accepted in reducing emissions, he said. However, up until now, the same benefits of stop/start technology have not been available for larger diesel engines because of the need for a high-speed starter motor.
Using its fuel saving vane pump, MHT has developed a high-speed stop/start motor which also powers an accumulator during braking for energy storage. This currently wasted braking energy is added back to reduce fuel use.
US machinery giant, Caterpillar, under the direction of Philip McCluske (today an MHT advisor), used a similar technology to great effect on hydraulic excavators that was highly effective in capturing and storing up to 12% energy in hydraulic accumulators. This saved up to 40% diesel usage on a machine.