Pioneering CO2 road vehicles

Aldi Süd, Germany's biggest supermarket chain, is investing in new road transportation for frozen food and beverages with a view to promoting CO2. The next-generation vehicles will go into serial production after being exhibited at the Frankfurt IAA in 2010. The CO2 closed cycle system developed by ThermoKing, highly effective insulation and the carbon fibre housing of the truck promise a quantum leap in energy efficiency and cooling technology.  The new trucks are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFK) that is much lighter than traditional materials such as aluminium or steel. Combined with an improved isolation technology and the R744 cooling system, the delivery vehicles are designed to save significant amounts of fuel, provide a higher cooling capacity, and thus to reduce CO2 emissions. The three trucks commissioned so far use the natural refrigerant CO2 in a closed circuit. The cooling system is driven electrically by solar panels installed on the truck. Aldi is convinced that servicing of the R744 systems will be simpler than that of R134a, R404A or R410A-systems, as there is no need to recover or recycle the refrigerant. The project is supported by the EU and the German state of Lower Saxony with € 1.6 million, with the same amount provided by Aldi and its partners. Aldi plans to open up this transport refrigeration technology to the market.