Kenworth Keeps Its Cool

September 28, 2010

Concerned that increasingly strict emission controls for trucks would place a burden on the cooling system, Kenworth engineers two years ago began designing and testing cooling-system packages that would, says chief engineer Jim Bechtold, improve thermal performance and increase reliability.

"To fully understand what it would take in our cooling system to offset the added heat from the new engines," says Bechtold, "two years ago our engineers started taking Kenworth test vehicles to probably the hottest spot in North America--Death Valley. We also ran those trucks up the nearby Baker Grade to collect additional data."

Field testing, says Bechtold, was complemented by computer-aided analysis to improve airflow and by laboratory thermal- and pressure-cycling tests.