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eNow receives grant for electric reefer unit

eNow has received a $400,000 grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD)—also referred to as the Valley Air District—to deploy its air pollution- and greenhouse gas-reducing solar panel solutions in the area’s transportation networks.

Johnson Truck Bodies, Challenge Dairy Products, and Emerson are also involved in the project. The truck involved deploys a diesel-free, all-electric truck refrigeration unit powered by eNow solar panels and Johnson All Electric (AE) Cold Plate system. Such systems are exempt from carbon emissions as defined by California’s Air Resources Board (CARB).

The proposed project is for demonstration of an electric replacement for truck refrigeration units. eNow is collaborating with Johnson to provide the demonstration unit, and Challenge Dairy will operate the demo vehicle. The proposed system uses photovoltaic enhanced battery electric refrigeration systems augmented with a hybrid active evaporator/cold plate refrigeration system to provide for a 12-hour route operation. This demo system will be sized for a “medium-temperature application” suitable for produce or dairy product delivery. Both Emerson and Johnson will conduct refrigeration system tests in collaboration with eNow and Challenge Dairy defining parameters for remote monitoring.

“Johnson Truck Bodies considers this new innovation to be a big step forward for the refrigerated transport industry and the environment. We are all about developing new electric refrigeration solutions to reduce cost and eliminate emissions, which is a benefit to everyone. This project is a natural fit for us,” said Ron Ricci, president of Johnson. “Harnessing solar power for truck refrigeration systems requires integration of exciting new refrigeration technology and extended battery power making it possible to do what was once thought impractical. With anti-idling laws on the increase, this is bound to become an attractive option for the refrigerated transportation industry in the future.”

eNow’s solutions provide durability, superior power, low cost, and quick return on investment. Over the past several years, the firm has made progress within the transportation industry, including partnerships with industry leaders such as Dometic Group, Mitsubishi Fuso, Freightliner, and Navistar. The eNow solar solution is sold through OEMs and aftermarket dealers.

“As a Valley company, we are proud and excited to be involved in a project that will provide better air quality for our community—and potentially the world,” said Tom Ditto, vice-president of foodservice for Challenge Dairy. “Eliminating truck idling for refrigeration and therefore pollution is an innovative and financially responsible way that is key to sustaining a healthy environment for everyone.”

The project is currently in development and is expected to begin testing in September 2016.

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