Driven to the edge

Carrier Transicold is launching its first autonomous electric refrigeration system, the Vector eCool. Several cold chain carriers across Australia are planning to install these state-of-the-art units to boost productivity and energy efficiency.

Specialised business unit, Carrier Transicold, has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing emissions, improving sustainability and increasing efficiency across the refrigerated transport sector with the launch of the Vector eCool – the first fully autonomous, all-electric engineless refrigerated trailer system.

Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies.

“We believe the Vector eCool represents the future of refrigerated trailer technology,” says Carrier Transicold International Truck & Trailer President, Victor Calvo. “It’s one of the most exciting new products we have ever brought to market. The launch follows years of research and development, including extensive real-world testing with prototypes operating in customer fleets.”

Suitable for operation with the engineless versions of Carrier Transicold’s Vector HE 19 and Vector 1550 E, the Vector eCool combines the company’s E-Drive all-electric technology with a new cutting-edge energy recovery and storage system.

This converts kinetic energy generated by the trailer into electricity, which is then stored in a battery pack to power the refrigeration unit. This loop creates a fully autonomous system that produces no direct carbon dioxide or particulate emissions.

When the refrigeration unit is operating on battery power, Carrier Transicold’s energy management system will automatically switch on when the charge reaches a certain level and conditions, initiating the generator to recharge the battery to ensure full refrigeration capacity.

The eCool system can also be plugged into the electrical grid when the trailer is parked and will fully charge in under four hours. On the road, the battery pack is recharged using power generated by the axles and the kinetic energy created under braking.

When used with Carrier Transicold’s flagship Vector HE 19 unit, the Vector eCool can provide even further reductions in energy consumption. Even with the system’s axle generator and battery pack fitted, it is still significantly lighter than a standard diesel unit with a full tank of fuel.

The Vector eCool 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.

Carrier Transicold Australia Product & Aftermarket Solutions Director, Kelly Geddes, says the Vector eCool was developed to provide cold chain carriers with a flexible solution where the trailer is completely autonomous as it is today with a standard diesel solution.

“The type of power source on the prime mover is irrelevant and no modifications to it are required,” he says. “Our goal is simple: don’t change customer behaviours and company structure to be able to provide a sustainable solution.”

The system, according to Kelly, runs the Carrier Vector refrigeration unit in standby mode when plugged in at the distribution centre. “When the Vector unit is off, the system will switch to charging the battery if required,” he says. “The system also runs the Carrier Vector refrigeration unit on-road using energy from the trailer axle. When the refrigeration unit is off, the axle will recharge the battery pack or switch off if not required. The system also runs the Carrier Vector electric refrigeration unit in full autonomous mode using only stored battery power when the trailer is not moving or when grid power is
not available.”

Fast Fact
For more than 50 years, Carrier Transicold has been an industry leader, providing fleets around the world with advanced, energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems. Carrier Transicold helps improve the transportation and shipping of temperature-controlled cargo with a complete line of equipment and services for refrigerated transport and cold chain visibility.

Fast Fact
Carrier Transicold’s latest innovation – the Vector eCool – is an engineless system based on an alternative power source to operate Carrier trailer refrigeration units for all applications from long haul to urban distribution. The alternative power source, in this instance, is a combination of a modular battery pack unit (energy storage) and an axle generator (energy recovery) as well as standby power to run the E-Drive architecture.
This solution is also compatible with the Iceland series Carrier truck engineless product.