Hybrid diesel-electric reefer designed to curb emissions

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A hybrid diesel-electric reefer trailer was unveiled this week in New York City. The technology allows the unit to remain cold while switching from diesel to electric power during loading and unloading, reducing diesel emissions, fuel costs and noise.

The reefer was built by the combined efforts of Shurepower, Carrier Transicold, Maines Paper & Food Service, New West Technologies and Great Dane Trailers. The companies used funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority.

The original pilot project, located in a Maines Paper & Food Service distribution facility in Conklin, N.Y., involved operating electrified loading docks and parking spaces for diesel trucks and reefers. The project was under the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership.

EPA regional administrator Alan Steinberg appeared with representatives from the companies that spearheaded the technology to observe a truck deliver goods to a Holland America Lines cruise ship at the New York Economic Development Corp.’s facility.

The demonstration project featured eTRU, also known as a hybrid diesel-electric trailer refrigeration unit. The technology works by installing an electric device on a loading dock or parking space and equipping a diesel truck or reefer unit with special connectors to the electric power grid. Once plugged in, the diesel engine can be shut down.

The Carrier Transicold Vector 1800 MT multitemperature reefer system features hybrid diesel-electric technology designed to enable shippers to regulate the temperature of multiple compartments within the trailer. It combines a diesel engine with an electrical generator to reduce air pollution and sound levels, eliminate many components and maintenance items, and increase reliability and performance, the company says.

Shurepower’s electrified truck parking system, which provides drivers with electrical hookups, is designed as a low-cost alternative to idling. New West assisted by providing engineering expertise.