Thermo King Introduces Hybrid Refrigeration System for Trucks

19th November 2019

Seamless switch between diesel and electric mode allows transporters to operate in inner cities, residential areas and low emission zones with the unit’s diesel engine turned off.

Thermo King®, a  leader in transport temperature control solutions for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, introduces new hybrid refrigeration systems designed to lower environmental impact and reduce operating costs of truck transport operations. The new Thermo King T-Series Hybrid and UT Hybrid refrigeration systems for trucks, drawbar trailers and high-loaders answer the demand for technologies that give transport companies easier access to restricted, low-emission urban areas while lowering operating costs in the same time.

The new hybrid single – and multi-temperature solution for trucks builds on the proven track record of the Thermo King SLXi Hybrid trailer systems. Frigoblock alternator and inverter-drive technology allow switching the power of the nose-mount T-Series Hybrid and under-mount UT Hybrid refrigeration units between diesel and electric as required or necessary. This enables the transport companies to operate in inner cities, residential areas and low emission zones with the refrigeration unit’s diesel engine turned off.

“The commitment to our customers is what drives our innovation. Further, we have long considered it our responsibility to lead the industry by designing and manufacturing sustainable products,” said Francesco Incalza, vice president product management and marketing at Thermo King. “Thermo King was the first to offer its European customers a trailer hybrid refrigeration solution and now we are expanding this technology into the truck range. This is another step for us in our journey to continuously advance the transport climate control technologies and sustainable urban distribution with cleaner and electrified transport refrigeration.”

To ensure voice of the customer was captured during the development of the new hybrid solution, Thermo King worked with Castell Howell Foods, one of the UK’s leading independent food wholesalers. Since May 2019, Castell Howell has conducted thorough, real-life testing by operating the truck equipped with the Thermo King UT Hybrid Spectrum under-mount refrigeration unit.

“We have been running the hybrid truck six days a week on mixed routes combining motorway and city centre routes with upwards of 30 deliveries a day,” said Martin Jones, director of transport operations at Castell Howell Foods. “With the hybrid mode always on we experienced fuel savings reaching approximately 20 litres of fuel each day, six days a week. It’s a significant mark in the truck’s operational bottom line and we’re really pleased to see how the Thermo King system combines the best of both alternator-driven electric and diesel technologies and how it has worked out in the field.”

The system has been very well accepted by Castell Howell drivers, mainly due to the simple and smooth transition from one technology to the other. The driver only needs to set the vehicle when leaving the depot and the system will switch electric and diesel modes seamlessly during the working day depending on the unit’s requirements.

“During the cooler, autumn days, we didn’t even turn the unit’s engine on. The Thermo King UT Spectrum is a very powerful unit with a very quick pull down. Even in the summer, this significantly reduces the time when the engine is on and gives drivers a degree of flexibility when delivering to residential areas early in the morning,” said Jones.

The new Thermo King hybrid technology will help transport and delivery companies future-proof their refrigerated truck delivery operations and investments to stay ahead of regulations, control their total cost of ownership, increase efficiency and achieve important sustainability goals.

The T-Series Hybrid and UT Hybrid product development is aligned with Ingersoll Rand 2030 sustainability aspirations, and the commitment to, through the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC) and transport refrigeration products and services, reduce customer carbon footprint by one gigaton1 CO2e  – equivalent to the annual emissions of Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined.

To learn more about Ingersoll Rand’s achievements against its 2020 commitments please see its recently released 2018 ESG Report. For more information about its 2030 sustainability aspirations, please go to ingersollrand.com/2030.