Autonomous systems for refrigerated transport
The refrigerated transport sector is looking for solutions to reduce fuel consumption, refrigerant emissions and noise emissions. - Autonomous systems cooled by cryogenic secondary coolants offer alternatives. A system developed in Germany uses tanks of liquid nitrogen (-196°C) fixed under the vehicle for an automated direct or indirect (with an exchanger) system using injection for cooling. The system's weight is similar to that of a traditional unit, but allows for substantially less CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. As an example, a dual-temperature lorry carrying 80% fresh products and 20% frozen foods using this system could release as little as 1.5 tonnes equivalent CO2 vs. 25 with a traditional system. The system is also less noisy and cools goods 2-3 times faster than other systems. According to tests, tanks within the 450-1200 litre capacity range could offer 1-2 days autonomy. Notwithstanding bulk issues, 1000 such vehicles are now in service in Germany. - Autonomous insulated containers are another solution. Olivo manufactures containers with a capacity of 50-1400 litres, operating thanks to eutectic plates or dry ice, allowing for autonomy of up to 24 hours. Containers are also a flexible solution as they make it very easy to transport very different types of goods (frozen or chilled) in the same vehicle and do not require controlled temperature hubs for loading or unloading.