BELGIUM: Thermo King has introduced a new hybrid refrigeration system for trucks which can switch seamlessly between diesel and electric operation.
The new Thermo King T-Series Hybrid and UT Hybrid refrigeration systems for trucks, drawbar trailers and high-loaders are said to answer the demand for technologies that give transport companies easier access to restricted, low-emission urban areas while lowering operating costs in the same time.
The new hybrid single- and multi-temperature solution for trucks builds on the proven Thermo King SLXi Hybrid trailer systems. Frigoblock alternator and inverter-drive technology allow switching the power of the nose-mount T-Series Hybrid and under-mount UT Hybrid refrigeration units between diesel and electric as required or necessary. This enables the transport companies to operate in inner cities, residential areas and low emission zones with the refrigeration unit’s diesel engine turned off.
“Thermo King was the first to offer its European customers a trailer hybrid refrigeration solution and now we are expanding this technology into the truck range,” said Francesco Incalza, Thermo King’s vice president product management and marketing.
Thermo King has been working on the new hybrid solution with UK independent food wholesalers Castell Howell Foods. Since May 2019, Castell Howell has conducted thorough, real-life testing by operating the truck equipped with the Thermo King UT Hybrid Spectrum under-mount refrigeration unit.
“We have been running the hybrid truck six days a week on mixed routes combining motorway and city centre routes with upwards of 30 deliveries a day,” said Martin Jones, director of transport operations at Castell Howell Foods. “With the hybrid mode always on we experienced fuel savings reaching approximately 20 litres of fuel each day, six days a week.”
The driver only needs to set the vehicle when leaving the depot and the system will switch electric and diesel modes seamlessly during the working day depending on the unit’s requirements.
“During the cooler, autumn days, we didn’t even turn the unit’s engine on. The Thermo King UT Spectrum is a very powerful unit with a very quick pull down. Even in the summer, this significantly reduces the time when the engine is on and gives drivers a degree of flexibility when delivering to residential areas early in the morning,” said Jones.