Hultsteins is a Swedish and British hydraulic refrigeration systems manufacturer who, for over 5 decades, has led the market in the design and production of hydraulic drive refrigeration systems.
Over this time, the company has mainly focused on Sweden and the Nordic countries but, in recent years, Hultsteins have introduced their sustainable refrigeration systems to the UK and Ireland.
The concept is as simple as it is efficient: Hydraulic drive TRUs use an engine PTO-driven hydraulic pump to harness the energy from the truck engine and use it to drive the compressor of the fridge directly. A most efficient method of using the energy because, unlike other systems, there is no need to convert it to electricity in order to drive the compressor.
This delivers the power to ensure 100% cooling capacity – even at idle speed – and applies to single or multi-temperature operation to suit rigid or drawbar applications.
Hultsteins hydraulic drive fridge units are claimed to offer the lowest carbon and emissions footprint available for transport refrigeration. Couple this with what the company describes as ultra-low operating and maintenance costs, excellent reliability and a long working life and it is easy to understand why cold chain operators have relied on Hultsteins for nearly 60 years.
“In today’s environmentally conscious world” says Graham Usher (Sales Distributor for Hultsteins Products), “these transport refrigeration solutions have truly come into their own: Not only do they reduce carbon by around 90% with DPM & NOx emissions being slashed by over 95%, but they come with significant cost reductions when running a hydraulic system, which uses around 90% less fuel compared to a conventional TRU.”
”Add this to the low maintenance requirement and Hultsteins’ 5-year R&M package – which is included with all fridges as standard – and operators can expect to see a significant reduction in operating costs whilst slashing their carbon & emissions, in comparison to operating a standard diesel fridge engine.”
Graham also points to the considerable cost increases which will hit all operators of diesel fridge units in 14 months (1st April 2022), when HMRC withdraws the current rebate on red diesel for use in refrigerated transport.
“Currently, red diesel attracts duty at 11.14p per litre. When increased to the current white diesel level of 57.95p per litre, assuming a typical consumption of 2 litres per hour, the running cost over a typical annual rate of 2,000 hours will increase by £1,872 for each diesel fridge unit. Fitting a Hultsteins fridge makes great commercial sense and it’s much better for our environment too,” adds Usher.
Hultsteins’ Ecogen – Bridging to an electric future
”If you can’t move away from diesel fridge units just yet,” Graham suggests ”you can still save money and reduce emissions by fitting a Hultsteins’ Ecogen. An electric-hydraulic drive system, Ecogen works in tandem with the existing diesel fridge and uses an engine PTO to generate a constant 400V at idle speed. This onboard electric generator effectively transforms the existing diesel TRU into an electric fridge.”
”This allows operators to run their fridge unit on electric when on the road while saving fuel, cutting emissions and reducing noise. Ecogen runs any marque of diesel fridge and fits to any rigid or tractor unit – providing a PTO is present on the truck engine.”
Ecogen is currently being tested by a number of leading operators, including Gist. The company are trialling the system at their Spalding site over a three month period and see the trial as representing a significant step forward in driving Gist’s environmental agenda.
Mick Pethard, Gist Engineering Manager, said: “The hybrid-drive system harnesses kinetic energy from the truck and recycles it into electrical energy for the transport refrigeration unit. By taking power via the rear of the engine into this equipment – which converts it into electricity to power the fridge on electric rather than red diesel – means no CO2 is being created by the fridge.”
Graham Usher concludes. “Hultsteins are delighted to be sharing their market proven technology with operators in the UK and Ireland. It’s a tried and tested product that I believe offers operators the lowest cost of ownership with the smallest emission footprint. Reducing cost and emissions is good for your pocket and good for the planet. It would seem that this 60-year-old has finally come of age!”