Supermarket chain Tesco is conducting a trial of two Carrier Transicold multi-temperature refrigeration units – engineless systems that run entirely on hydro-electric power generated by the trucks’ ultra-clean Euro VI engines. Carrier Transicold, which operates in the UK as Carrier Transicold (UK) Limited, is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
The trial is part of the supermarket retailer’s efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. These are the first two trucks fitted with alternative refrigeration technology to join Tesco’s fleet, which includes 450 rigids, 1,300 tractor units and 4,000 trailers.
“We are delighted to be one of the first customers trialling this new type of engineless refrigeration unit offering significant environmental benefits,” said Caroline Sindrey, engineering manager, Tesco. “The new system offers huge potential to help us reduce our carbon footprint through lower emissions and diesel consumption as well as decreasing air and noise pollution. We also hope it will reduce maintenance and fuel costs across our fleet of vehicles in the long term.”
The refrigeration systems are mounted to Mercedes-Benz Antos rigid trucks and will be used up to seven days a week, transporting chilled and ambient produce to urban Tesco Express and Tesco Metro stores across southwest England and southern Wales. Each vehicle will be kept in the fleet for eight years and is expected to cover 35,000 miles annually.
The systems remove the need for a separate diesel engine as they are driven by an Eco-Drive GenSet power unit, which is powered by a hydraulic pump connected to the truck’s engine power take-off. The hydraulic pump drives a generator that delivers electrical power to the refrigeration unit and provides a continual, 100 per cent refrigeration capacity even at the truck’s standard idle speed.
With a PIEK-compliant noise level rating as standard, the units are ideally suited to intensive urban delivery work. In addition, the slim-profile evaporator offers maximized load space. With two refrigerating circuits fed by separate fully-hermetic scroll compressors, many serviceable items such as drive belts, pulleys and compressor shaft seals are eliminated, which in turn optimises uptime levels and refrigerant containment.
This configuration – coupled to two economisers and a wide surface condenser – means the system provides a cooling capacity of up to 18,400 watts.
Tesco operates more than 3,500 stores in the UK and employs more than 310,000 staff members.