Kinetically cooled trailer hits the road in UK

One of the United Kingdom’s leading temperature-controlled distributors has become the first to use a revolutionary new trailer that takes its own kinetic energy to power its refrigeration unit.

Fowler Welch, based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, distributes food from its base in the Fens to wholesalers across the nation. It expects the trailer to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 14,000 kg per year.

The carrier worked with Thermo King and International Refrigeration Cooling on the design of the reefer, which is said to cut CO2 emissions in half.

The electrically powered refrigeration unit uses previously lost energy generated by the trailer’s axles via an auxiliary charging system (ACS).

Nick Hay, chief executive officer of Fowler Welch, said it was an important step for the company to introduce the first operational ACS-equipped trailer to the UK supply chain industry.

“Listening to the needs of our customers, many of whom cite environmental targets as a major influence on their supply chain operation, we are looking forward to seeing how the new eco trailer can help to deliver these targets,” he said.

The ACS system converts kinetic energy from the wheels to generate electrical power, which allows the refrigeration unit to run while the vehicle is in motion. It also charges batteries built into the unit from speeds as little as 5 to 7 mph, allowing up to 90 minutes of stationary cooling power before the hybrid motor kicks in. The motor is also extremely quiet in operation, making the trailer a viable proposition for noise-controlled zones.

Steve Williams, UK sales manager at Thermo King, said, “By participating in innovative projects like this, using our high-efficiency SLXe 50 Spectrum S3 trailer unit with the next generation, low global warming potential refrigerant R452A, we aim to help our customers reduce their environmental footprint and total cost of ownership.”

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