The fleet has been retrofitted with lithium battery power systems, which Cadent engineers use to power on-board maintenance tools – previously they had to leave the diesel engine running or, if parked, use a portable diesel generator.
The innovation prize at the recent Gas Industry Awards 2019 was the culmination of a two-year project to develop, test and install the system, with the resulting reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel costs.
The battery is a 12V DC 100Ah lithium ion version, which can charge in 1 hour 45 minutes from the vehicle’s alternator at 45A. Output is up to 1,300W (6A) continuous at 230V/50Hz.
The battery can also be charged from the mains, at 50A, in 1 hour 40 minutes.
There is also a larger battery, offering continuous output of up to 2,000W at 8.5A.
Ian Walker, Cadent’s fleet operations manager, said: “The beauty of this technology is that it provides the mobile source of electricity our engineers need to run their power tools, but without the noise, vehicle fumes and carbon emissions that come from generating power the traditional way from our vans’ diesel engines or a diesel generator.”
Mervyn Ham, CEO at Cardiff-based Clayton Power UK, described the award as “a fantastic endorsement” for its technology, adding: “We hope this encourages further companies to stand by their commitments to reducing now unnecessary and avoidable vehicle carbon emissions, by embracing innovative ‘green power’ technology.”