Sleeper Cab Climate Control Load Reduction for Long-Haul Truck Rest Period Idling

Jason Lustbader, Cory Kreutzer, Steve Adelman, Skip Yeakel, John Zehme

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Annual fuel use for long-haul truck rest period idling is estimated at 667 million gallons in the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's CoolCab project aims to reduce heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) loads and resulting fuel use from rest period idling by working closely with industry to design efficient long-haul truck climate control systems while maintaining occupant comfort. Enhancing the thermal performance of cab/sleepers will enable smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective idle reduction solutions. In order for candidate idle reduction technologies to be implemented at the original equipment manufacturer and fleet level, their effectiveness must be quantified. To address this need, a number of promising candidate technologies were evaluated through experimentation and modeling to determine their effectiveness in reducing rest period HVAC loads. For this study, load reduction strategies were grouped into the focus areas of solar envelope, occupant environment, and conductive pathways. The technologies selected for a complete-cab package of technologies were 'ultra-white' paint, advanced insulation, and advanced curtains. To measure the impact of these technologies, a nationally-averaged solar-weighted reflectivity long-haul truck paint color was determined and applied to the baseline test vehicle. Using the complete-cab package of technologies, electrical energy consumption for long-haul truck daytime rest period air conditioning was reduced by at least 35% for summer weather conditions in Colorado. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's CoolCalc model was then used to extrapolate the performance of the thermal load reduction technologies nationally for 161 major U.S. cities using typical weather conditions for each location over an entire year.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2015
EventSAE 2015 World Congress & Exhibition - Detroit, Michigan
Duration: 21 Apr 201523 Apr 2015


ConferenceSAE 2015 World Congress & Exhibition
CityDetroit, Michigan

Bibliographical note

Posted with permission

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-63505


  • air conditioning load reduction
  • CoolCalc
  • HVAC load estimation tool
  • sleeper cab climate control


Dive into the research topics of 'Sleeper Cab Climate Control Load Reduction for Long-Haul Truck Rest Period Idling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this