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ESC System

Why is an Engine Standby Controller (ESC) Important?

Eliminates idle time
  • Idle hours are equivalent to productive hours; the maintenance intervals are based on the engine operation hours clock.
  • Idle hurts new Tier 4 engines, without enough flow to cool down the exhaust cases, higher maintenance is to be expected.
Fuel consumption
  • During no-load operation, the engine fuel consumption is approx. 14 gal/hr.
  • No load periods are up to 15% of the total fuel consumption.
  • A big part of the wellhead traffic is caused by fuel tank trailers.
Hydraulic starting

Hydraulic starting systems are slow and complex.

  • The procedure to ignite a fracking pump takes up to 10 minutes.
  • The tractor requires an expensive wet-kit as the energy source for the starting system.
Short maintenance intervals

Fracking pumps are maintenance-intensive systems.

  • Increased preventive maintenance is the most expensive solution to keep the pumps available.
  • ESC decreases the frequency of each maintenance. As a result, 20% less maintenance is performed on the units.
  • Long distances between workshop and wellhead are essentially misused production hours
  • Longer service intervals will increase savings on OPEX.
Misused wellhead assets

Fracking requires a high equipment investment.

  • Tractors are not required for fracking and are devaluing while being unproductive.
  • They also generate additional maintenance expenses.
  • Up to 50% of the installed horsepower is unused due to back-up or pumps limitation.
  • Fewer assets on the field reduces the footprint, fuel consumption and emissions.
Hazardous environment

The wellhead site is a very hazardous environment, and safety is always a priority.

  • Personnel could be exposed to hazardous locations.
  • Minimize human intervention,  reduce the probability of having accidents that may harm the employee.

What is the ESC System?

EKU’s proprietary Engine Standby Controller (ESC) is a retrofit for existing pressure pumping equipment. ESC replaces the existing battery, and adds an external fluids circulation and heating system to the powertrain, thus enhancing the system with an EKU energy management controller.
The ESC system maintains engine readiness during the non-operating time, while automatically shutting down the powertrain when it is not pumping, and immediately restarts to full load upon request.
The equipment that is turned off has no wear and tear, emissions or fuel consumption. The ESC system manages to keep the powertrain under OEM specifications during its READY period (e.g. engine off between stages) for a healthy re-start to full load.

How does it work?


ESC basic is a battery-based control system that switches the fracking pump hydraulic starting system to a fully electric starting system. ESC basic creates a third state called the “Ready State” on your pump. The Ready state stops the pump engine but maintains the equipment readiness for an immediate full load start.
Installed as a retrofit kit, the module comes with a battery box and an energy management unit. Using electric starters, it replaces the starting function provided by the tractor on the site. Elements such the Wet Kit and the Battery Tractor are no longer needed:

  • Automatic start/stop function.
  • Ready Mode: Shuts down the engine while keeping it in a readiness status, ideal for fast and full load starts.

The “Active Lubrication” function focusses on reducing wear and tear on the engine components during start-stop sequences. Increasing the number of start/stops requires better care on engine parts.
It assures oil lubrication on every engine element and a smooth transition during the cranked phase. The function is optimal for a high number of start/stop sequences.

  • Pre-start lubrication increases the engine oil pressure on critical crankshaft bearings, protecting the turbocharger.
  • Post-stop lubrication smooths the cooldown, avoiding oil boiling on the engine.
  • Constant engine lubrication maintains the system, ready for immediate restart.

The “Active heating” function adjusts and controls the engine and transmission temperature during the ready state. It creates a temperature flow cycle to keep the equipment within OEM parameters.

Optimal for cold environments. Active heating is in charge of reducing the risk of fluid freezing and component cooling.

  • Extend Ready state duration time.
  • Monitors engine and transmission temperature.
  • Constant transmission lubrication.
  • Delays the engine cool down to critical cold start conditions.
  • Electric heating minimizes maintenance efforts.
  • Operational up to -40°F; by using a special cover to protect the battery and electric components from the extremely low temperature. The function makes it possible to use the equipment in cold environments.

It accelerates the charging time of the battery. In events when the pumping cycles are short and occasional, the Ready state requires greater availability with using a longer period of idle.

This function also prevents battery overcharging.

  • Battery recharge in less than 1 hour.
  • Prolong the Ready state availability.

As an option, the auxiliary power module gives the ability to plug the ESC to an external source, extending the Ready state capability.

  • Increases battery lifetime.
  • Supports site grid stability by adding or removing load.
  • Redundant or backup system to the battery charge.

It accelerates the maintenance procedure by draining all the fluids faster. Using the external oil pumps, the system increases the speed extraction from engine and transmission oil and continuously senses the oil flow preventing pump damage for overuse.

  • Fast engine oil drain.
  • Fast transmission oil drain.

Return on Investment

Fleet fuel savings


Fleet maintenance cost


Tractor use savings


Total Savings


Fewer tractors on site

More personnel available

"I'm very excited about this project, we can eliminate the tractor, reduce emissions and save costs"

Field Officer, EKU Client

"Other big vendors are offering parts of your process, but you guys really have thought out a complete solution"

Maintenance Manager, EKU Client

"It’s not only the savings on the fuel consumption that are great, we can also extend our preventive maintenance by 50%"

Frac-Operation Manager, EKU Client

"Idle time is an issue across most fracking fleets: it puts unnecessary wear and tear on engines and needlessly burn fuel."

Vice President of Operation, EKU Client
Disclaimer: This is a projection.

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Frequently Asked Questions?

How does the engine start without the tractor?

By installing electric starters and a battery box, neither the tractor nor the Wet Kit are necessary. The control unit takes over the ignition system and manages the start or stop of the engine, according to the operator´s parameters.

How does the operator start/stop the powertrain?

The operator starts or stops the engine with the RPM control. Under the Ready mode, if the set RPM is under the idle RPM, the engine will shut down.

Why should I rely on batteries?

The batteries are a proven technology on every hybrid or electric car in the world.

What type of engines are supported?

It is compatible with CAT, Cummins and MTU engines.

Which safety features exist in the Ready state?

Flashing lights warn people near the equipment during the Ready state.

How does the lockout system work?

The ESC features with a mains switch that disconnects all the power from the pump.

How does ESC prevent battery discharge?

The ESC automatically turns on the engine to recharge the battery in case of deep discharge.

Is the warranty of the engine affected?

Not at all. The ESC system does not modify or install any element inside the engine. The installation procedures do not require perforating, opening or changing any part of the engine.

Can we install the unit?

Yes, the ESC system is a retrofit system that can be installed by your team. We could provide the installation service.

Do I need all of the ESC Modules?

No, depending on your operation, our engineer will recommend the best package possible.

Do you offer trials?

Yes, for more information please contact us at any time, by phone or by email.