ORLANDO – A new “intelligent” controller system from Phillips Industries is designed to choose the optimal source of power to fully charge liftgate batteries, without the risk of draining power needed for other vital equipment functions.

Dubbed the Permalogic Selector System, it addresses an issue “near and dear to the hearts of refrigerated fleets,” said Dan Wallace, Phillips’ manager-OEM trailers. For reefer fleets, the system automatically selects between the tractor (via dual pole) or the trailer’s reefer unit as the source of power to continuously charge the liftgate batteries to capacity.

Wallace said the tractor battery is the primary source of charge, but if the tractor voltage drops to 12.2V, Permalogic cuts off the connection to eliminate any low voltage starting issues. It will then turn to the reefer unit for power as long as it is operating correctly and producing more than 13.2V. The system will automatically shut off if it senses a problem with the reefer’s electrical system and will not cause any out-of-balance issues with either the reefer unit or the tractor.

“In today's environment, where fleets are looking for ways to reduce idle times, engine shutoffs can negatively affect the ability to keep the liftgate batteries charged for trailers with high duty cycle liftgates,” said Bruce Purkey, president of Purkey’s Electrical Consultants, who helped develop the product with Phillips.

“Delays cause inefficiencies, higher operating costs and poor customer satisfaction,” Purkey added. “This product automatically selects the best source to recharge the liftgate battery and, at the same time, manages power to start the engine, run the refrigeration unit and maintain the integrity of the electrical system.”