Refrigeration Truck Goes Solar

| October 16, 2017


eNow, producers of solar products for the transportation industry, demonstrated its solar energy-producing systems for transportation by powering the first zero-emissions commercial-use Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) on a truck making deliveries in an urban environment.

The new zero-emissions TRU, branded “Rayfrigeration,” has been undergoing real-world testing since April 2017 in California’s San Joaquin Valley. In five months of testing, emission reductions of 98% nitrous oxide, 86% carbon dioxide, and 97% particulate matter were achieved.

TRUs are refrigeration units mounted on trucks and are traditionally powered by high-polluting, small diesel engines to provide the needed cooling to transport chilled products. The Rayfrigeration TRU is the first-to-market battery powered unit for commercial use and was tested on a Challenge Dairy Class 7 truck delivering fresh dairy products throughout Fresno, CA.

Designed to support medium-temperature refrigeration applications, the Rayfrigeration system employs two forms of energy storage: eutectic medium (cold plates) and a high-capacity auxiliary battery system. The cold plates and auxiliary batteries are initially charged from utility power delivered to the vehicle when plugged in overnight.

When the truck is operated on a delivery route, power is provided by eNow’s solar photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on the truck’s roof. eNow joined Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, Emerson Climate Technologies, and Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. in the summer-long trial that took place in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

In addition to eliminating harmful emissions, the Rayfrigeration unit is projected to reduce operations and maintenance costs by up to 90% over a diesel-powered TRU. The cost savings are achieved through the elimination of fuel costs, eliminating maintenance costs for the diesel APU engine, and an increase in battery life (reducing replacement costs) thanks to consistent charge maintenance by eNow solar.

Throughout the four-month testing cycle, the 1,800 Watt eNow solar system provided more than enough energy to maintain optimum temperature throughout a typical day of continually opening and closing the doors while delivering fresh dairy products in California’s summer heat.

“The Rayfrigeration product is an important step forward in reducing emissions while maintaining the highest levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction for companies delivering perishable goods,” says Jeff Flath, President & CEO of eNow. “eNow’s solar technology is powerful, reliable, and efficient, and more than up to the task of providing emissions-free energy for critical tasks such refrigeration of fresh foods, even the most challenging conditions. We are proud to be a part of this important project.”

The Rayfrigeration solar-charging technology is available through eNow, which currently has more than 4,000 solar systems operating nationwide on Class 8 trucks, buses, emergency and utility vehicles, supporting applications as diverse as heating and cooling, liftgates, wheelchair lifts, safety lights, telematics, and other transportation applications. Upon completion of the testing period, Challenge Dairy plans to transition its entire fleet of distribution trucks to solar-powered TRUs.

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Category: General Update, Green, News

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