Carrier Transicold develops ultra-efficient trailer refrigeration technology


Helping the North American refrigerated transport industry improve efficiency and sustainability, Carrier Transicold has introduced its next generation trailer refrigeration technology.

The ultra-efficient system is designed to consume less fuel, operate quieter and deliver improved cooling performance, all while running cleaner than any prior Carrier Transicold trailer unit, said David Appel, company president.

Carrier Transicold helps improve global transport and shipping temperature control with a complete line of equipment for refrigerated trucks, trailers and containers, and is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.


Emission regulations

Carrier Transicold’s next generation technology also provides solutions for refrigerated transporters facing upcoming changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards in 2013, as well as California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions requirements.

“A major milestone in our continuous product development, this next generation trailer technology boosts performance and efficiency and intelligently coordinates refrigeration with a ‘smarter’ engine,” said Appel. “The efficiency gains allow us to significantly reduce engine power, enabling better fuel economy.”

Carrier Transicold’s next-generation technology reduces engine power by 18 to 20 percent and enables 5 to 20 percent lower fuel consumption, compared to previous models over a full range of operating conditions.

It will be applied to both of Carrier Transicold’s trailer refrigeration platforms: the Vector hybrid diesel-electric and the X2 series of belt-driven units.

Additional design changes and important operator benefits will be unique to the platforms.

For example, compressor and generator design modifications to improve efficiency, performance and reliability are also expected to reduce the weight of Vector hybrid units by more than 8 percent.  

X2 series units will require 24 percent less refrigerant, reducing another potential source of greenhouse gases.


Development goals

“Reducing emissions was one of the main goals in our development process,” said David Kiefer, director of marketing and product management, Carrier Transicold. “We challenged ourselves to evaluate our systems holistically, while considering our customers’ long-term needs beyond immediate compliance requirements. The result is a fusion of new innovations with proven technologies from our successful platforms.”

A common element of the technology is a 2.2-liter diesel engine that is based on Carrier Transicold’s established engine line and is made smarter with the addition of sensors and an electronic control module.

Common to both platforms will be implementation of the APX control system with new power-management algorithms and intelligent refrigeration system control; improvements to the condenser, heat exchanger and fan designs for greater efficiency and sound reduction; and a new custom-designed Engine Emissions System (EES) for unprecedented emissions reduction.

“This technology enhances Carrier Transicold’s existing innovative and reliable designs in a way that achieves both greater efficiency and higher performance,” Kiefer said.

Beyond fuel savings, other benefits of this next generation technology include:

- Improved cooling capacity for most applications, resulting in up to 20 percent faster pulldown.

- Reliable unit operation in even in hotter ambient conditions.

- Up to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, commensurate with the reduced fuel consumption. 

- Improvements in durability and longevity due to more lightly loaded components running at lower speeds.

This technology also responds to new, more stringent EPA tests that, starting in 2013, will require emissions performance over an even broader range of operating parameters than in the past, he nogted.

The EES is designed to reduce particulate emissions beyond what is required for EPA Tier 4 compliance and far exceeds the requirements of CARB’s applicable ultra-low diesel emission requirement.