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Tesco trials hydro-electric refrigeration

UK: Tesco is trialling two Carrier Transicold multi-temperature refrigeration units that run entirely on hydro-electric power generated by the trucks’ ultra-clean Euro VI engines.

The systems remove the need for a separate diesel engine as they are driven by an Eco-Drive GenSet power unit, which is powered by a hydraulic pump connected to the truck’s engine power take-off.

The hydraulic pump drives a generator that delivers electrical power to the refrigeration unit and provides a continual, 100% refrigeration capacity even at the truck’s standard idle speed.

“We are delighted to be one of the first customers trialling this new type of engineless refrigeration unit offering significant environmental benefits,” said Tesco engineering manager Caroline Sindrey. “The new system offers huge potential to help us reduce our carbon footprint through lower emissions and diesel consumption as well as decreasing air and noise pollution. We also hope it will reduce maintenance and fuel costs across our fleet of vehicles in the long term.”

With a PIEK-compliant noise level rating, the units are said to be ideally suited to urban delivery work. In addition, the slim-profile evaporator maximises load space. With two refrigerating circuits fed by separate fully-hermetic scroll compressors, many serviceable items such as drive belts, pulleys and compressor shaft seals are eliminated, which in turn optimises uptime levels and refrigerant containment, says Carrier.

This configuration – coupled to two economisers and a wide surface condenser – provides a cooling capacity of up to 18.4kW.

The refrigeration systems are mounted to Mercedes-Benz Antos rigid trucks and will be used up to seven days a week, transporting chilled and ambient produce to urban Tesco Express and Tesco Metro stores across southwest England and southern Wales. Each vehicle will be kept in the fleet for eight years and is expected to cover 35,000 miles annually.

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