Shipping line personnel can now monitor and access container refrigeration unit operations from a smartphone or tablet, thanks to Carrier Transicold’s new Micro-Link 5 controller, the industry’s first container refrigeration unit controller with wireless connection capability for improved visibility, diagnostics, convenience and productivity.
The Micro-Link 5 controller allows personnel to interface with refrigerated containers via Carrier Transicold’s new DataLINE Connect app for mobile devices without any physical contact with the refrigeration unit itself. That means operators standing dockside or on a ship deck can securely monitor temperature readings, check alerts, review diagnostics and download data from nearby Carrier Transicold refrigerated containers, even if the containers are stacked high above. The DataLINE Connect app provides information-rich, intuitive displays so operators can quickly and easily see and respond to relevant container information.
Wireless connectivity, while a key benefit of the new controller, is just one of several advances over Carrier Transicold’s standard Micro-Link 3 controller, which has long been an industry workhorse. The new controller features a 32-bit ARM processor that is 150 times faster than its predecessor, has twice as many inputs/outputs, enabling the use of additional sensors and significantly expanding its range of capabilities, and offers a port for direct data exchange for software updates and data downloads using a USB flash drive or direct PC connection. Significantly, the Micro-Link 5 offers expanded memory for data storage and programming – up to 2,000 times more than the current product.
The Micro-Link 5 controller’s optional back-up battery offers another industry first: the application of “smart battery” technology – commonly found on smartphones today – to container refrigeration unit control. The rechargeable smart battery has the ability to prioritize operations based on charge level. For instance, if the charge level is low, it will maintain critical USDA sensor data recording and disable nonessential activities. The smart battery also indicates charge level and remaining service life, helping users get maximum use from a battery, rather than prematurely replacing it.
“This represents a major leap in visibility, accessibility and functionality compared to traditional controls,” said Willy Yeo, director of marketing, Carrier Transicold. “Wireless technology enables greater and more convenient customer access to their container refrigeration systems for greater productivity. The Micro-Link 5 controller offers the potential to support more features and digital offerings.”
While it encompasses multiple advances and new features, the Micro-Link 5 controller uses the same external display and keypad as Carrier Transicold’s standard controller, to ensure familiar manual configuration. The new controller is designed for improved serviceability over its predecessor, with features such as more convenient positioning of connector ports and better self-diagnostics that provide a higher level of detail for technicians when troubleshooting alarm conditions.
The Micro-Link 5 controller is now available in limited production as a premium upgrade for Carrier Transicold container refrigeration equipment.