Eco-Trailer

UK: Supply chain services  provider Fowler Welch has launched a new eco trailer which harnesses kinetic energy to power its refrigeration unit.

Fowler Welch has collaborated with International Refrigeration Cooling Ltd (IRC) and Thermo King to create the innovative vehicle which is said to emit 50% less CO2 than a standard refrigerated trailer. It does this by storing previously lost energy generated from the trailer axle to power the refrigeration unit.

The technology is said to have the potential to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions by over 14,000kg per year. 

Nick Hay, CEO of Fowler Welch, said: “It is an important step for us and our partners to introduce the first operational ACS (Auxiliary Charging System) trailer to the UK supply chain industry.

“Listening to the needs of our customers, many of whom cite environmental targets as a major influencer on their supply chain operation, we are looking forward to seeing how the new eco trailer can help to deliver these targets.”

“At Thermo King, we’re constantly looking at opportunities to address our customers’ environmental considerations such as low noise, low emissions and lower global warming potential,” said Steve Williams, UK sales manager at Thermo King.

“By participating in innovative projects like this, using our high efficiency SLXe 50 Spectrum S3 trailer unit with the next generation, low global warming potential refrigerant, R452A, we aim to help our customers reduce their environmental footprint and total cost of ownership.”

The new ACS system converts kinetic energy from the wheels to generate electrical power which allows the refrigeration unit to run while the vehicle is in motion. The system also charges in-built batteries from as little as 5-7mph allowing up to 90 minutes of stationary power before the hybrid motor kicks in.

Paul Allera, head of fleet at Fowler Welch, said: “The new trailer enables us to manage deliveries in areas with noise restrictions by negating the use of the unit’s diesel engine to power the trailer and decreases the volume of fuel needed, helping us to reduce CO2 emissions and operating costs.

The new trailer will be operating out of Fowler Welch’s Spalding depot this month.