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Solar-powered truck refrigeration trials

The Challenge Dairy truck has PV panels on its roof

USA: A zero-emission, solar-powered transport refrigeration unit is said to have proved its effectiveness in trials on an urban delivery truck.

A refrigerated delivery truck operated by the Challenge Dairy has been equipped with a Rayfrigeration solar system developed by eNow, a producer of innovative energy products for the transportation industry.

The solar panels located on the vehicle’s roof power the refrigeration unit during the truck’s daily delivery cycle.

The 1.8kW eNow solar system is said to have provided more than enough energy to maintain optimum temperature throughout a typical day of opening and closing the doors while the refrigerated truck delivered fresh dairy products in California’s summer heat.

The Rayfrigeration system is used in combination with a Johnson Truck Bodies refrigeration unit and Emerson compressor technology. The unit’s cold plates and batteries are initially charged from utility power overnight, but while on a delivery route, power is provided by eNow’s solar photovoltaic panels mounted on the truck’s roof.

Average emissions of CO2 were calculated to have been reduced from 2,525lbs/week to 159lbs. Nitrous Oxide emissions were reduced from 7162g to 1. This is after adjusting for the emissions from the power plant supplying grid electricity overnight.

In addition to eliminating harmful emissions, the Rayfrigeration unit is projected to reduce operations costs by up to 90%. The savings are achieved through eliminating diesel fuel and maintenance costs, and an increased battery life thanks to consistent charge maintenance by eNow solar.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District funded the Rayfrigeration initiative through its Technology Advancement Programme.

Established in 1911, Challenge Dairy Products is a cooperative association representing over 600 dairy farms. Its Challenge Butter is the largest selling brand in the Western States.

Related stories:

Cool revolution in refrigerated transport?8 August 2013
ITALY: A sorption heat pump (S-HP), based on the adsorption/desorption of a hydrogen gas stream, could provide significant savings over traditional transport refrigeration systems, a new development project has revealed. Read more…

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