Canadian Manufacturing

B.C. firm testing energy-saving technology in refrigerated food trailers

Energy efficiency software to be installed on reefer trailer storing 35,000 lbs. of frozen turkeys

VANCOUVER—A Vancouver-based clean technology firm said it will proceed with beta testing of its energy efficiency technology with an American food distributor.

Smartcool Systems Inc. said it expects the second phase of testing of the use of its energy efficiency software in the refrigerated transportation sector to begin in the next two weeks, when it will examine the impact it has on diesel consumption within refrigerated food trailers.

Completed in March, the first phase of testing produced a claimed 18 per cent energy saving when the company’s ECO3 technology was installed on compressors cooling a pair of sea-going refrigerated shipping containers.

“In our first phase of testing, we have already proven that our technology can yield significant savings on refrigerated transport compressor run time and energy consumption,” Smartcool president and CEO George Burnes said in a statement.

“Now we are aiming to translate these savings into diesel fuel saved, as this is the measurement that operators are looking for.”

Burnes went on to say that as the cost of diesel fuel rises—particularly in Europe, where diesel is almost twice as expensive as it is in North America—his firm sees a “huge opportunity” to bring operating costs down in the transportation sector.

The second phase of testing will see the firm’s technology installed on one of two identical side-by-side refrigerated trailers storing 35,000 lbs. of frozen turkeys, according to Bruce Kemp, technical director with Smartcool.

Monitoring and verification equipment will be installed on both trailers.

“Our beta site offers the perfect opportunity for us to test our technology on a fully loaded frozen food trailer,” Kemp said.

“This allows us to see the savings we can achieve in one trailer compared to how the other identical trailer refrigeration system would perform without Smartcool installed. We will be able to monitor all aspects of system performance including box temperature, compressor cycles and diesel fuel flow.”

Smartcool said the unidentified food distributor has indicated it would be interested in rolling out the technology on its fleet of 115 reefer trailers on successful completion of the phase two testing.

A retrofit product, Smartcool said its ECO3 technology acts as an “intelligent link” between a compressor and controller or thermostat, using “dynamic compressor optimization” to help achieve better energy efficiency.

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