Hultsteins connect to solar power for diesel-free cooling

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Sweden/UK transport refrigeration manufacturers, Hultsteins have teamed up with TRAILAR, the UK’s leading transport solar power innovators, to facilitate a ‘free-at-the-point-of-use’ solution for users of their sustainable fridge systems.

According to the two companies, the technological alliance will provide operators with permanent savings on fuel, maintenance and emissions – areas of key focus for operators needing to adapt to the environmental challenges which lie ahead.

“Our Hydraulic-drive fridge systems draw a small amount of energy from the truck via an engine-mounted PTO.” Says Graham Usher, who looks after Hultsteins sales in the UK and Ireland. “But despite the very small amount of fuel required for this, Hultsteins systems achieve diesel savings of around 80 to 90%, in comparison to a diesel TRU.”

Graham explains further that the solar energy captured is fed into the vehicle, which then reduces the energy required by the engine to run the fridge system. This process more than compensates for the small amount of diesel the fridge requires via the PTO.

According to Hultsteins, a typical TRAILAR system for a rigid vehicle saves around 600 litres a year in the UK, while a Hultsteins fridge only requires an average of 250-300 litres running 1500 hours per year, during road-use. The combination of a Hultsteins fridge connected to a solar system, dramatically reduces annual diesel usage, cuts running costs by a significant margin and reduces emission pollution.

TRAILAR’s Head of Marketing, Matthew Summers, points towards the many other benefits available from their award-winning solar technology.

“As we focus on modernising and improving transport operations through our technology, each of our systems allow customers access to powerful telematics data. Customers will access this data using the TRAILAR Insights web-platform, where they will be able to see asset utilisation, live and historic GPS tracking, battery health reporting, tail-lift counts plus fuel and CO2 saving figures.”

Using IoT Cloud technology, millions of data points are automatically collated and analysed from fleets around the globe. The data is viewable in the web-platform, as well as being able to be exported, to enable further offline analysis with other sets of data. Another benefit of utilising Cloud technology is that it allows TRAILAR to provide over-the-air updates to the system, minimising the need for any physical servicing. Battery health reporting is also detailed enough to enable operators to proactively schedule battery replacements, removing unplanned downtime from operations.

Matthew states “As an ex-operator, most carbon-reducing or green technologies aren’t commercially viable for a lot of businesses. The benefit of having a simple solution that pays for itself and more, provides fuel savings without having to manage driver performance, as well as significantly improving battery life is invaluable. The telematics then goes a step further, giving the operator valuable and actionable information.”

Due to the simplicity of the plug and play style system, installation times are quick and the number of approved fitting agents is growing internationally. At its heart lies the Smart Charge Controller which is designed specifically for logistic applications and regulates the transfer of energy from the alternator and solar matts to the vehicle battery.

Special sensors monitor all electrical characteristics, allowing for fuel & CO2 savings to be calculated, which is unlike any other fuel saving technology on the market. Savings which, say TRAILAR, easily enable rigid operators to see a return on investment in under 18 months.

TRAILAR solar technology is standard vehicle specification for the world’s largest logistics company, DHL, as well as Royal Mail utilising the technology as standard on all double deck trailers in the UK. With their list of customers of the technology growing globally, including the likes of Ocado, Hovis, Moran Logistics, Mawdsley’s, Ryder UK and many more, the solution is playing a role in the decarbonisation of the transport industry today.

Graham Usher is in no doubt as to the advantages which the new collaboration will bring: “Our slogan is ‘Cutting Costs and Carbon since 1962’ adds Graham Usher, “and in that regard, this cost-saving sustainable technology is the perfect fit. As such, Hultsteins are delighted to offer the TRAILAR solar solution as a ‘standard option’ to work with our diesel-free hydraulic fridge systems. With telematics free of charge to all customers in 2021.”

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