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Battery-powered transport refrigeration exceeds targets

NETHERLANDS: A nine-month trial of a lithium-ion battery-powered transport refrigeration system is said to have exceeded its target of saving 80% of the diesel used in traditional systems.

The collaboration between equipment service provider TIP Trailer Services, global consumer goods company Unilever, transport company Daily Logistics Group (DLG) and green-tech experts Maxwell+Spark, is estimated to have saved the emission of more than one ton of CO2 per month per refrigerated reefer so far.

The pilot’s aim was to replace diesel refrigeration systems on reefer trailers with a lithium-ion powered battery, one that can if needed, draw on diesel as a contingency. 

The pilot project began in the second half of 2021 when the first two TIP reefers used to transport Unilever’s Ben & Jerry ice-cream, were fitted with Maxwell+Spark’s system. The target was to save 80% of the diesel used in traditional refrigeration systems, by replacing them with a battery that could draw from a green electric grid. Not only was this achieved, but current project data is said to show that the system reached more than a 99% saving of fossil fuel over the last few months.

Based on these results, not only is there a huge CO2 saving per system, but there are also very substantial running cost savings. 

Since the first trial, two more reefers have been fitted with this system and are now on the road this summer.

Commenting on the pilot project’s positive results to date, Maxwell+Spark CEO, Clinton Bemont, said: “All companies involved have worked together to implement this carbon, noise and pollution reducing system, and so far it has been more successful than expected. We hope to roll the technology out to a larger proportion of the fleet in the next 12-24 months.”

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