Electric avenue

The development of the semi-electric refrigeration system architecture by Carrier Transicold has driven a progressive series of cool advances resulting in today’s technologically advanced, ultra-high performance all-electric Vector units. It has also paved the way for the future with the engineless, battery-powered Vector eCool.

Early Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) were mechanical systems powered by basic diesel engines that used reciprocating compressors directly coupled to the engine. A series of belts and pulleys powered the other key moving components such as condenser and evaporator fans.

As engineers looked for new opportunities to gain efficiencies, they focused on eliminating major service items such as belts and gearboxes. In 1994, Carrier Transicold introduced the first semi-electric system with its Genesis TM1000 model. Its semi-electric architecture (sometimes called diesel-direct electric or DDE) marked the first real departure from traditional diesel-mechanical systems. This design added a belt-driven generator to power electric fans whilst retaining the traditional direct-coupled compressor.

The Genesis model was a successful design that was in production for more than 20 years, providing the foundation for today’s ultra-high efficiency, reliable units.

The next major advance was the Vector trailer unit with E-Drive all-electric technology – the first of its kind – which Carrier Transicold introduced in 1999. This revolutionary and patented design replaced the direct-coupled compressor with a direct-coupled high-performance generator to power an all-electric refrigeration system.

With an all-electric system with a semi-hermetic, high-volume electric compressor, electric fans and electric heating, the advantages are strikingly obvious: the refrigeration system became fully enclosed, virtually eliminating typical refrigerant leak points of previous designs, such as open-drive compressor shaft seals and vibration-absorbing flexible refrigeration lines, called vibrasorbers.

Since then, the E-Drive all-electric architecture has been continually refined to increase efficiencies. The result – next-generation temperature-controlled trailer system – the Vector HE 19 (High Efficiency) from Carrier. Its new, ultra-modern design delivers a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 30 per cent, delivers a 10 per cent saving in weight, reduces noise by 3 dB(A) and offers up to 15 per cent savings on maintenance costs.

“This is a huge step forward for the trailer refrigeration market and the most important refrigeration unit to be launched in the Australia for a decade,” says Kelly Geddes, Director of Product & Aftermarket Solutions, Carrier Transicold Australia. “The new Vector HE 19 will deliver significant performance advantages for our customers in every area. We’ve combined existing and cutting-edge technology with a host of new features to help operators make a step-change improvement in fleet efficiency and sustainability.”

The new Vector HE 19 system utilises Carrier Transicold’s patented all-electric E-Drive technology. This is combined with a new electronically controlled multi-speed engine design that delivers 30 per cent reduction in fuel consumption – as independently verified against the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the Association Technic Energy Environment (ATEE) partial load fuel burn standards. At the same time, the oil drain interval for the unit’s engine is doubled to 3,000 hours.

The Vector HE 19’s use of a fully hermetic scroll compressor and economiser helps to deliver a 40 per cent increase in refrigeration capacity during pull-down, while reducing the chance of refrigerant escape by 50 per cent. The system is also 19 per cent more efficient when plugged into the electrical grid on standby, meaning operators will see reduced diesel, maintenance and electricity bills.

In addition, the new unit features a newly redesigned evaporator airflow management system, which harnesses the Coanda effect, essentially ‘sticking’ cool air to the roof inside the trailer. This creates much more efficient and stable airflow at lower velocities – something that is difficult to achieve at higher airflow rates – helping to ensure the integrity of the cold chain. When combined with Carrier Transicold’s new advanced APX control system using CAN BUS and electronic remote expansion valves, the Vector HE 19 unit returns levels of refrigeration efficiency not seen before in a trailer system. It is also 3 dB(A) quieter than a standard Vector 1950 unit, making it around 50 per cent quieter in operation.

The Vector HE 19 and other Carrier units can be fitted with Carrier eSolutions OEM integrated telematics systems.
Carrier eSolutions allows temperature monitoring and compliance, GPS location, alarms and alerts as well as the ability to download over the air and provide remote software and configuration updates.

The Vector HE 19 and eSolutions telematics can be bundled with a Carrier BluEdge Elite maintenance agreement to protect your investment with comprehensive maintenance & repairs for a fixed monthly fee.

“What our R&D teams have achieved with the new Vector HE 19 isn’t just a simple upgrade,” Kelly says. “It represents a huge step forward in trailer refrigeration. The truth is these units have been proven in both reliability and performance around the world and here in Australia with exhaustive testing spanning multiple hot Aussie summers.”

Fast Fact
Carrier’s Vector eCool is an autonomous, all-electric engineless refrigerated trailer system. It combines the company’s E-Drive technology with a cutting-edge energy recovery and storage system. It converts kinetic energy generated by the trailer into elecricity which is then stored in a battery pack to power the refrigeration unit. This loop ensures autonomy that does not produce direct carbon dioxide or particulate emissions.