Re: BLUEBIRD FLATNOSE 5.9 CUMMINS DIESEL IN PA.16323 3500.00
The electric retarder has been popular in Europe for several years. It is quiet in operation, is placed within the drivetrain, and provides adjustable retarder action control for the driver. It does require DC control power from the vehicle battery charging circuit, in the order of 10 amps.
In operation, the electric retarder is a generator whose load is itself. All power generated by the generator is dissipated back into the generator as heat. The retarder has cooling turbines which remove the heat as it is generated. The vehicle's motion energy is converted into heat by the generator.
The electric retarders do not place additional requirements upon the vehicle cooling system, nor do they impact the vehicle's engine lubrication system. It doesn't restrict the engine's compression or exhaust cycles in any way. The electric retarder is an easy bolt-on, and independant option.
The electric retarder consists of 16 electromagnet coils which surround a rotor which is connected to the vehicle drive shaft. Gear shifts do not impact the operation of this retarder, and engine RPMs also have no impact upon the operation of this retarder.
The retarder effect is controlled by enabling one through 16 of the electromagnet coils. The more coils that are activated, the more retarder force that is generated. There is typically a driver switch which can select the number of active coils. Recently, electronics has provided a progressive switch position which enables more coils as the length of application time increases. There is also a manual driver control lever option, and a foot brake pedal option. The foot brake pedal option activates the electric retarder before the service brakes are applied.
There is also a low speed sensor which disables the retarder when the vehicle speed falls below 5 MPH (8KMH).