An innovative concept of refrigerated semi-trailer

The refrigerated semi-trailer undergoing final test combines electricity production by hydrogen fuel cell and refrigeration production using CO2 as refrigerant.

On July 4, 2019, Chéreau – a French company considered as the first European manufacturer entirely dedicated to the design and manufacture of refrigerated truck bodies – has handed over its first hydrogen refrigerated semi-trailer to the French transport group Malherbe for final tests.

This is the last phase of the large-scale, three-year collaborative €5.5m Refrigerated Optimized Advanced Design (ROAD) project which also involves Arts et Métiers-ParisTech, Amvalor, Carrier, FC Lab and Tronico. It aims to develop a new generation of cost-effective refrigerated semi-trailers ensuring the cold chain through less polluting and quieter technologies. The ROAD project partners collaborated on seven complementary technological bricks:

  • Electricity generation through an onboard hydrogen fuel cell
  • Refrigeration output thanks to a CO2 cooling unit powered by the fuel cell
  • Lightening the chassis with new design and multi-material technologies
  • Aerodynamics: Improved semi-trailer design for better air penetration and reduced fuel consumption
  • Thermal insulation: new generation of materials with very high thermal performance for the bodywork
  • Mechanical and electrical architecture: integration of new components and optimization of the management of electrical and mechanical equipment (reduction of energy consumption, better ergonomics and new security functions)
  • Vehicle tests under real conditions of use

Commissioning should take place at the end of 2019.

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