Interview with Scott Dargan of Carrier Transicold on ”The future of Cool” – Refrigerated Transport

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With the Carrier Transicold Vector Ecool now available for trials in the market, Scott Dargan, Managing Director UK & Northern Europe at Carrier Transicold, talks about the innovative electric technology, its sustainable advantages for the industry and the collaboration process.

How did the partnership between Gray & Adams and Carrier begin?

Carrier Transicold and Gray & Adams have a longstanding working relationship that dates back decades. There is a mutual respect between the two companies built on the perfect synergy between our respective products and delivering service excellence.

We trust and respect G&A’s engineering team explicitly. When it came to selecting a manufacturer to work with on the roll-out of the Vector eCool in the UK, we knew we could rely on G&A to help us deliver what we are sure will be a milestone for refrigerated trailer technology.

What is new about the Vector eCool offering? What are the key benefits of this technology for customers?

The Vector eCool reaffirms Carrier Transicold’s commitment to reducing emissions, improving sustainability and increasing efficiency across the refrigerated transport sector.

Suitable for operation with the engineless versions of the Carrier Transicold Vector HE 19 and Vector 1550 E, the Vector eCool is one of the most exciting new products we have ever brought to market.

The eCool combines our E-Drive all-electric technology with a new cutting-edge energy recovery and storage system. Kinetic energy generated by the trailer is converted into electricity, which is then stored in a battery pack that powers the refrigeration unit. This loop creates a fully autonomous system that produces no direct CO2 or particulate emissions.

The system has been designed to help customers improve fleet sustainability and futureproof their operations – particularly when taking into account the tightening restrictions and regulations relating to Low Emission Zones and urban operations.

When compared to a traditional Vector HE 19 unit, with its own diesel engine and a full tank of fuel, the Vector eCool also delivers a notable weight saving. The additional weight of any new key components like the axle generator and battery is effectively offset by the system not requiring a standalone engine or fuel tank.

What can your customers expect from this partnership?

Carrier Transicold has been working closely with G&A on the development of the demonstrator trailer in order to maximise the environmental benefits of the entire system.

The tri-axle trailer features aerodynamic cappings to reduce drag, while bespoke sideguards allow access to the battery system, as well as protecting cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

The two companies have worked in tandem on this project to provide customers with the ultimate leap forward in refrigerated trailer technology which can be used and assessed on a ‘try before you buy’ basis.

What synergies are there between Gray & Adams and Carrier as businesses?

Gray & Adams are widely known and respected for their engineering prowess, product quality and service excellence. They put the customer at the forefront of their thinking and can be relied upon to deliver on time. These competencies and values also underpin our business and I believe this shared mindset is what makes our two organisations work together so well.

What added value do you see this partnership offering to your customers?

While the total cost of operation for the Vector eCool depends on an individual customer’s specific application, we believe it offers great value. In fact, our own internal testing has shown the Vector eCool’s operating costs to be lower than those of a standard diesel refrigeration system.

The system is also PIEK-compliant, meaning when used with the City versions of the Vector HE 19 and Vector 1550 E, operating noise is below 60 dB(A). Combined with its emissions performance, the Vector eCool provides the ultimate solution to ever-tightening inner-city and urban regulations.

Is there a limit on the running time of the unit?

The Vector eCool system is fully autonomous, so it will continually recharge while the trailer is moving using power generated by the axle and the kinetic energy created under braking, when travelling downhill or on the overrun.

When operating on battery power, its energy management system will automatically switch on when the charge reaches a certain level and condition, initiating the generator to recharge the battery to ensure full refrigeration capacity.

Equipped with a Carrier Transicold telematics system, operators have access to live data about the battery health, which will help manage energy utilisation.

The system can also be plugged into the electrical grid when the trailer is parked, fully charging the battery in just two hours.

Is the unit more suited to long-haul or local distribution or can it be used more widely?

Depending on customer application, the battery can power the refrigeration unit for up to six hours on a single charge which is then replenished when the trailer is moving. With this in mind, the system is most suited to routes where there is mains power access on arrival, particularly if any overnight stops are required.