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CO2 refrigeration truck ‘answer to urban multi-drops’

The double whammy for urban refrigerated delivery of emissions and noise sensitivity can be solved with CO2 technology, according to transport refrigeration specialist Thermo King.

The Ingersoll Rand subsidiary believes its CryoTech refrigeration system can provide “the lowest possible impact on the environment” by using a carbon dioxide liquefaction system.

In using a CO2 grade, which is itself a byproduct of fertiliser and other processes, Thermo King claims that the CryoTech’s carbon footprint is 75 per cent lower than a conventional diesel system and 68 per cent less than a nitrogen cryogenic system.

Because the system has few moving parts, it also boasts a low sound output, at 49-58 dBa (claimed to be lower than talking), which makes it well-suited for urban use, the firm said. The low-noise actually enables the use of the system in areas where diesel vehicles are prohibited at night, it claims.

However, Thermo King claims the most valuable benefit of the system over rival configuration  is that cooling capacity is unaffected by the ambient temperature and that the temperature pulldown and recovery is quicker – box temperature is claimed to be recovered four times quicker than rivals.

This makes a direct difference to shelf life, the company contends.

Product specialist Anthony Bour said: “It is the answer to multi-drop deliveries, where there are lots of door openings, and particularly in urban areas that have low emission zones.” The fact that the CryoTech produces no particulates adds a further benefit where regulations have particulate limits.

The system utilises liquid CO2 in a tank under the vehicle chassis, bringing the liquid into the evaporator coils inside the cargo space. Air is circulated through the coils using electric fans, and the cooled air cools the produce, so unlike other cryogenic systems the CO2 doesn’t enter the cargo space.

Load temperature and humidity are dictated by the airflow, and controlled by Thermo King’s purpose-built controller. The open loop set-up sees the gas directed outside the vehicle requiring the tank to be refilled periodically at a network of dedicated filling stations.

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