GERMANY: Transport refrigeration company Ecooltec Grosskopf has developed a new generation of electrically-driven transport refrigeration unit using CO2 and the hydrocarbon refrigerant R1270 (propene).
The Ecooltec TM182 chiller can be operated electrically using the in-house high-performance generator on the truck engine, a battery or a separate generator and thus does not require an integrated diesel engine.
The company claims to have protected the system against leaks in the body with a patent-pending, fully hermetic refrigeration circuit. The design specially-designed heat exchanger and the use of propene also reduces the amount of refrigerant used by 90% compared to conventional transport refrigeration systems.
The cold-generating process takes place entirely outside the hold. There, the natural flow of air ensures that escaping propene immediately mixes with the ambient air and evaporates, the company says, and a flammable mixture cannot develop.
In the box body, the natural refrigerant CO2 is used for the cold distribution. Outside the body, the R1270 and CO2 circuits flow past each other, thermally connected via a plate heat exchanger.
The system uses specially developed inverter-controlled horizontal scroll compressors. If required, the performance, efficiency and operational reliability of the system can be further increased by means of refrigerant injection.
Ecooltec Grosskopf says that the system is suitable for the most demanding applications with high loading volumes and extremely low cold room temperatures, as well as frequent door openings. It claims maximum temperature security and the shortest pull-down times under all conditions.
In addition, with the same cooling capacity, the system is said to use 60% to 80% less energy than a conventional diesel-powered system.
Despite its high performance, the system is particularly compact. Thanks to the use of specially developed components, Ecooltec’s transport refrigeration unit has an extremely low overall height of just 250mm and is therefore designed for complete integration into the vehicle roof of motor vehicle, trailer and refrigerated semi-trailer boxes. It is said that the system can be fully integrated into the body without any significant loss of loading volume.
Established by Peter Großkopf, the original founder of Frigoblock, Ecooltec Grosskopf is based in Mulheim under the leadership of Dr Juergen Suss, the former CEO of chiller manufacturer Efficient Energy.