National Training Centers (NTCs) of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTCs) recently attended a Business and Professional Development Meeting April 15-17 in Matthews, N.C.

“The Business and Professional Development Meeting provides a wonderful opportunity to see our members and hear about what exciting initiatives are taking place at their facilities,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. “The event also allows us to update our members about new curricula, training and programs. At this particular meeting, we conducted advanced hybrid training for our members.”

On April 15, participants visited Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas (PNG) for a tour of the facility and a professional development course on compressed natural gas. Attendees also visited Piedmont’s CNG fueling station and discussed the various vehicles in the fleet. Greg Johnson, Commercial Marketing Manager at PNG, was instrumental in setting up this event.

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The CNG fueling station at Piedmont Natural Gas was a highlight of the tour. Credit: NAFTC

The group’s next stop was the Hendrick MotorSports’ facility, where they took a tour of all the automotive shops, the team buildings and the museum.

“This tour was extremely valuable because we saw new automotive technology utilized in the race cars,” Ebron explained.

At the end of the day, Piedmont Natural Gas hosted a reception for the members at the Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

On April 16-17, the NAFTC worked with Automotive Research and Design trainer Mark Quarto, to offer a Predictive Maintenance State of Health for Hybrid, Electric and Plug-In Systems course.

“Predictive maintenance refers to the ability to predict in advance,” explained Mark Olance, Assistant Director – Curriculum Development and Training at the NAFTC. “This process will be highly effective in determining the overall effect of the electric machine, which includes the high-voltage battery pack, the high-voltage controllers and the electric transaxle assembly.

“Owners of electric vehicles, including hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid-electric, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles, will be able to determine a baseline operation of health and compare this baseline to the current vehicle results performed during a predictive maintenance check,” he added. “This check could save the operator several thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs over the life of the vehicle. The owner would then be given a report outlining the overall health of the electric machine.”

The next NAFTC Business and Professional Development Meeting will be conducted July 15-17 in Sanford, Fla. During that time, the NAFTC will unveil the First Responder Safety Training train-the-trainer courses that have been developed as part of the Clean Cities Learning Program and the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Following the business meeting, Seminole State College of Florida, a member of the NAFTC, will host the NACAT 2010, a conference of the North American Council of Automotive Teachers, July 19-23 in Sanford, Fla. The NAFTC will sponsor, exhibit and present workshops at NACAT 2010.

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Participants in the NAFTC Predictive Maintenance course display their certificates. From left, first row, are Steve Tomory, Rio Hondo College; Steve Hitchner, Wake Technical Community College; Mark Quarto, trainer from Automotive Research and Development; and Al Ebron, NAFTC; second row, Ted Kuhn, Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center; Mark Spisak, Central Piedmont Community College; Terry Wolfe, Community College of Baltimore County; Don Schumaker, Yuba College; Rob Palmer, Vermont Technical College; Paul Silbertquit, Gateway Community College; Charlie Sanders, Traviss Career Center; Steve Klausing, University of Northwestern Ohio; Michael Hunecke, Texas State Technical College; and Russ Jones, Portland Community College; third row, Mark Olance, NAFTC; Ruth Morris, Southern Maine Community College; Tony Rish, Gateway Community College; George Panagiotou, Mass Bay Community College; Mark Schmidt, NAFTC; Kim Kittinger, Portland Community College; and Norris Martin, Texas State Technical College. Credit: NAFTC

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