Dallas Police Cars/Power Management Solution Reduces Police Car Dead Batteries, Emissions/Photo courtesy of Himanshu/PicasaWeb.google.com Dallas Police Cars/Power Management Solution Reduces Police Car Dead Batteries, Emissions/Photo courtesy of Himanshu/PicasaWeb.google.com Photo courtesy of Himanshu/PicasaWeb.google.com

With all the technology, like laptops and radios and other equipment, that police and law enforcement vehicles are required to run, it's no surprise that dead car batteries are constantly plaguing officers. When Energy Xtreme presented its anti-idling technology to the Dallas Police Department as a way to reduce vehicles' carbon dioxide emissions, Fleet Manager Lt. Dale Barnard thought it could also help eliminate the problem of dead batteries in police cars.

Barnard said police officers are constantly faced with the dilemma of what to do with their cars when working in the field. Should they leave the car's lights on, but take the keys and lock the door? Should they leave the car running, but have to worry about it being stolen? Should they sit idling to power the technology, but waste gas in the process?

The anti-idling technology is a power management solution that operates a car's electrical system while it's turned off. Barnard said it consists of two solid state power storage devices that are installed in a car's trunk. "You could leave the headlights on, the spotlight on, the red lights on, the radio on, and we've gone to full-sized laptops in all the cars -- so it's an enormous amount of power drain -- and you could leave all that equipment on for up to 5 hours with the engine off," he said.

System Keeps Usage Statistics

The department installed the company's power management system -- called the Independence Package -- in a Dodge Charger in March. It was the first time the company installed the device in that car model, so the engineers designed a custom box to fit the car. Barnard said it took the company about three weeks to outfit the car, but going forward it will be a quicker process. "It's literally two wires. It just bolts into the car and then you connect two wires, and then you're done," he said. "It's an extremely simple connection."

Two computer tracking devices are connected to the system to track usage. Every 30 days Barnard sends the tracking devices back to the company where the information is downloaded into its proprietary software. Barnard said he is then sent a report that outlines the average number of hours per day that the system operated. Therefore, the amount of eliminated idling -- and the estimated fuel and carbon dioxide emissions savings based on the eliminated idling time -- is calculated.


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Elaine Rundle  |  Staff Writer