At the CV Show on April 30-May 2 in Birmingham, UK, Thermo King and Frigoblock, transport solutions brands of Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, premiered a series of innovations and customer projects that demonstrate their commitment to the continuous advancement of transport climate control technologies and sustainable urban distribution.
The presented innovations focus on how transport and delivery companies can today future-proof their refrigerated truck, trailer and home delivery operations and investments with solutions powered by electricity, data and clean technology.
“We take pride in our expertise and reputation for collaborating with our customers and industry leaders to bring in new technologies. More than 80 percent of our year-over-year investments are focused on new product development and new technology innovation in the electrification space,” said Pauli Johannesen, vice president and general manager for Truck, Trailer and Bus at Thermo King in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “We were the first to offer our European customers a true hybrid and non-diesel truck and trailer refrigeration solutions and currently have more than 25 electric products in our portfolio providing superior performance for our customers. Moreover 20,000 trucks and trailers are on the road with our electrified transport refrigeration units and the number is growing daily.”
Following this approach, Thermo King and Frigoblock presented the following innovations and projects, which demonstrate how transporters can stay ahead of regulations, control their total cost of ownership, increase efficiency and achieve important sustainability goals:
Thermo King and Frigoblock collaborated with Castell Howell Foods, one of the UK's leading independent food wholesalers, to test a prototype of hybrid refrigeration unit for undermount applications on trucks, drawbar trailers and highloaders.
The UT-Series Hybrid unit builds on the proven track of the Thermo King SLXi Hybrid trailer systems. Frigoblock alternator and inverter-drive technology allow the Thermo King refrigeration unit to switch the power between diesel and electric mode as required or necessary, allowing the truck to operate in inner cities, residential areas and low emission zones.
“We have been using Frigoblock electric units in our fleet for over 15 years and we’ve waiting for a solution that would combine both the Frigoblock and Thermo King technologies in a rigid truck refrigeration system,” said Martin Jones, director of transport operations at Castell Howell Foods. “The versatility and fuel efficiency of a unit running on the power of the truck where it can, with backup of a conventional diesel on certain routes with long stops or intense drop counts will definitely increase the flexibility of our operations.”
“The UT Hybrid technology also aligns perfectly with our company’s sustainability strategy. Our doors are open for cleaner and more efficient technologies that will help us lower our carbon footprint. We are truly looking forward to demonstrating this new hybrid project to our customers as another step in creating a more sustainable and environmentally cautious transport,” continued Jones.
Electra Commercial Vehicles, a UK company converting commercial vehicles’ chassis to 100 percent electric, converted an Iveco 18 tonnes truck into a fully electric refrigerated vehicle. The project was possible thanks to the Frigoblock technology capable of delivering high performance refrigeration along with an inverter unit as standard, which didn’t require any modifications to the vehicle.
The conversion of the vehicle and the use of electric Frigoblock refrigeration unit and inverter filter are expected to contribute to an average fuel savings of 10 miles per gallon for the truck and up to 2.5 litres per hour for the refrigeration unit, depending on the operation and when compared to standard diesel engine solutions.
“Our company has the vision of providing the commercial vehicle operators with clean, zero emission solutions for city centre deliveries,” said Sid Sadique, chairman of Electra Commercial Vehicles. “By not only converting but also renting the vehicles and offering full fleet management we maintain full responsibility for the asset operations. This is why it was important to us to partner with Frigoblock to deliver reliable and efficient electric refrigeration to our vehicles.”
The E-200 with performance independent from the vehicle and plug-and-play installation is using a new controller that allows the refrigeration unit to adapt the capacity based on the actual need and available power. With the unit fitted with the optional TK battery, the controller manages different power sources at the same time, to get hold over capacity during stops for deliveries or breaks.
The new Spectrum compact monobloc evaporator for SLXi multi-temperature trailer refrigeration units maximizes the volume available for the payload and facilitates access during loading/unloading operations. The new evaporator can replace two evaporators in a single zone without compromising on refrigeration performance thanks to a lower profile and improved zone flexibility.
Latest addition to the Connected Solutions range from Thermo King, Trailer Assist collects and presents a range of insights related to a trailer’s operational condition extending the user’s ability to view fleet performance beyond refrigeration units.
Trailer Assist offers a comprehensive range of operational and maintenance data points by which fleet and service managers can monitor day-to-day trailer conditions and
Enhance vehicle uptime and asset utilization through proactive maintenance
Optimize transportation routes by analysing weight information (via axle loads)
Improve logistics flow and avoid wrong trailer pickup (by tracking individual VINs)
Extend the life-span of tyres and optimize fuel consumption (by tracking their pressure).