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University of Houston to test local buses for fuel efficiency
Date:9/12/2011

rgy into the batteries when the brakes are engaged, helping to recharge the batteries. This makes the buses easier to operate because drivers don't have to push as hard on the brakes.

For the Metro project, researchers will test both hybrid and regular buses to get baseline information from each, and they also will determine if one hybrid model is more fuel-efficient. They also will test buses with the air-conditioning on and off.

"Metro's fuel prices increase during the summer because of air-conditioning, and the difference can be significant, about 20 percent," Muncrief said.

UH researchers will "drive" the buses on the facility's 500 horsepower AC chassis dynamometer test cell, which measures emissions and fuel economy under controlled conditions.

There won't be any real-road testing performed, but the dynamometer will be programmed with a bus route that runs along Westheimer Road, complete with projected stops and starts no speed bumps, however.

"There is a lot of interest in this project because of the fuel savings issue. UH has the benefit of having a chassis dynamometer to test these large vehicles," Muncrief said.

A total of eight Metro buses will be tested during the two-year project. The first tests are scheduled to begin within the first two weeks of November.


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Contact: Laura Tolley
ljtolley@uh.edu
713-743-0778
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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