A sustainable refrigeration solution for the urban delivery market

A US company was awarded for refrigeration units using rechargeable batteries or solar panels to allow for a complete off-engine operation when vehicles are at delivery stops.

With online shopping and urban delivery increasing, sustainable transportation of fresh and frozen products has become a key issue. US company Volta Air was awarded first prize of USD 110,000 at the 2018 Innovate BC – New Ventures Competition for a sustainable refrigeration solution allowing for a complete off-engine operation when at delivery stops.

“The problem with the existing delivery of fresh and frozen products is that once they stop to do the actual delivery, the engine has to run all the time to keep the temperature integrity of the products a level that it should be”, said Volta Air CEO Kris Malek.

The company offers a more cost effective and sustainable solution. Their battery-powered transport refrigeration units use optional solar photo-voltaic and tracking technology to monitor critical delivery parameters such as temperatures, battery life or instances of door openings. These units do not require the engine compressor to run during idling, which amounts to less fuel usage, less noise, lower maintenance costs and a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Their refrigeration units allow for off-engine operation at each delivery stop, and can reduce operational fleets costs up to 50% and reduce GHG emission up to 15 tons of CO2eq per vehicle per year.

Some of the company’s big partners include Walmart, Save On Foods and other American chains.