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Rosenbauer’s PANTHER ARFFs feature modern and eco-friendly Volvo engine

Volvo engine provides better acceleration values which makes Rosenbauer’s PANTHER the world's most powerful ARFF
Rosenbauer PANTHER’s Volvo engine has been fitted with an exhaust gas control system for the reduction of nitrogen oxides

They are already in operation in Bremen (DE), Linz (AT) and Lyon (FR) and the next versions are to be stationed at airports in Riga (LV) as well as Auckland (NZ), Cologne-Bonn and Dortmund (DE). The trucks in question are PANTHER ARFFs in which a Volvo engine has been installed for the first time. This engine is currently the most modern and environment-friendly power unit available for the Rosenbauer PANTHER fleet and is fitted with exhaust gas post-treatment, which means that it already meets the emission limits imposed by the Euro 5 exhaust gas standard. In future, the new Volvo engine will be employed for the entire PANTHER series, from the 4x4 to the 8x8 chassis and including all the variations with shortened or extended wheelbase and reduced width. In the 8x8 version, which is the most powerful PANTHER and has a total weight of up to 52t, the drive unit will be installed in a twin form. This configuration also allows the uncoupling of the two engines with some 1,400hp during an operational response with the result that the vehicle is powered by one engine, while the other drives the extinguishing technology (pump & roll operation). Even in this arrangement, the Volvo engine still provides better acceleration values than the strongest double engine used in the PANTHER to date, which at present makes the Rosenbauer flagship the world's most powerful ARFF.

A robust power pack

The Volvo engine for the PANTHER is a 6-cylinder, common rail diesel with exhaust gas turbocharger that generates 515kW/700 hp at 1,800 min-1. The engine was originally developed for maritime purposes, but the high-speed, 4-stroke is now used primarily in industrial, off-road machinery, powering construction, mining and transport equipment. With a cubic capacity of 16l, the base body is practically identical with the engines that Volvo installs in its most powerful trucks and buses. Moreover, the performance curve and exhaust gas regulation are also identical. However, installation at the rear of the PANTHER necessitated the redesign of the radiator and the exhaust gas lines and hence the individual certification of the engine as a separate on-/offroad unit with regard to the EURO 5 exhaust gas standard. The TAD 1662VE Volvo engine is characterized by the immense robustness and operational safety. It must function perfectly in the roughest of weathers, at extreme temperatures and when subject to severe vibrations, smoke, dust and other burdens. These are all features that are equally in demand with regard to an ARFF. Furthermore, they are augmented by top quality chassis components such as Kessler all-wheel axles and Allison and Twin Disc automatic transmissions, which are installed in the PANTHER and provide it with its unsurpassed handling. 

Modern exhaust gas regulation

Since 2004, Volvo engines have been fitted with an exhaust gas control system for the reduction of nitrogen oxides, which is called selective catalytic reduction, or SCR for short. The NOx emissions are reduced to the required level by a catalyst located downstream of the engine, while engine management with corresponding combustion temperatures ensures that a separate particle filter is not required, as no larger soot particles are created. In order to achieve with Euro 5 what is currently the next exhaust gas value level, the Volvo engine is fitted with additional AdBlue urea injection. In AdBlue technology, up to 5 per cent of urea is injected into the exhaust gas flow containing NOx in line with the engine load. This combined flow is then conducted through the SCR catalyst, which splits the NOx into nitrogen and water. The PANTHER is one of the world’s first ARFFs to possess a certified Euro 5 engine.

New front monitor

In the case of the PANTHERs for Linz and Lyon, which have been equipped with Volvo engines, the new generation RM15 has been employed as a front monitor. This is the first Rosenbauer monitor in its performance class to possess electrical volume adjustment. Moreover, if required, it can be fitted with an optional ChemCore nozzle, which emits water in combination with powder (1.5kg/s).  

The new RM15 is lower and narrower than its predecessor and as the front monitor on the PANTHER, offers better front vision. In the course of a makeover, the monitor received a new design and with a throughflow volume of up to 1,500 l/min of water or water/foam mix, as well as throw distances of over 65m with water and 47m with foam (according to ICAO 414), its performance data sets new benchmarks. The RM15 is also the first Rosenbauer monitor to use the latest CAN bus technology, which is to be gradually introduced to the entire range. This allows the slower and therefore more precise steering of the monitor, which enhances the sensitivity of the monitor controls still further in order that the extinguishing agents can be applied with absolute accuracy to the seat of the fire from a greater distance.

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