Idealease, Schwan’s take a green ‘Leep’

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Idealease Inc. and Schwan’s Consumer Brands North America Inc. are adopting green technology by replacing 248 traditional refrigerated units in the Schwan fleet with Kidron UltraTemp hybrid units with LeepFreeze technology. This is the single largest order to date of the Kidron units with LeepFreeze technology, produced by Azure Dynamics Corp.

“Idealease is committed to using green technology in our customers’ lease fleets wherever possible,” says Bill Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of Idealease. “The Kidron UltraTemp refrigerated units with Leep technology are an excellent solution for Schwan’s Consumer Brands environmentally and in a practical way because they maintain ideal temperatures, reduce emissions and cut fuel and maintenance expenses.”

Idealease purchased a demonstrator unit and provided it to Schwan’s Food Co. in 2009 to showcase the technology in real-world use. “Schwan proved that the UltraTemp unit is reliable and performs well, and it delivers the cost savings and emission reductions promised,” says Doug Gosnell, Idealease director of Green Technologies.

The Leep system used in the Kidron UltraTemp unit draws energy from the vehicle’s primary engine during normal driving and delivers it to the UltraTemp cold plate system, eliminating the diesel engine used in conventional refrigeration systems and saving fuel. The system can maintain set-point temperatures even when the engine is off, preserving product integrity and enabling extended routes. About 40 percent of the Schwan’s Consumer Brands fleet will be replaced with the new Leep Freeze system, and the balance could be converted in the coming years.

The company established a subsidiary to produce propane conversion kits for gas engines to manage their vehicle conversions. “Each unit equipped with the Leep freeze system will cut carbon emissions by 35 tons annually, and overall we will reduce refrigerated fuel consumption by 90 percent,” says Kate Nau, vice president of finance for Schwan’s Consumer Brands. “Working with Idealease, we found a solution that reduces our environmental impact, extends our route capability, simplifies maintenance, contributes to our product integrity and gives our drivers a better work environment.”