Thermal technologies company in Lancashire provides a solution for zero-carbon refrigerated transport.
Whilst extensive research and development into carbon free haulage remains at the top of the Transport Federation’s wish list, one innovative company has been developing a viable solution.
Noise, air pollution and carbon emissions from diesel powered refrigerated transport units have until now been a difficult issue to solve, and with the loss of the red diesel tax break in 2022, will become much more expensive to operate.
Additionally, refrigerating gases common to these systems currently have higher than acceptable GlobalWarmingPotential value’s, and will be phased out with deadlines already decided.
Through a newly patented technology, invented and developed by a Northwest UK company, “Ice Bank Ltd”, EnergiVault® thermal banking system’s could change how we integrate ALL cooling systems with green energy sources.
A recent survey suggests over 4GW of power is consumed by refrigeration plant employed in controlling the temperature of working fluids.
Medium and Low temperature working fluids, cooled by remote refrigeration systems are favoured by insurers, safeguarding workers from potentially harmful gas leaks!
It is also estimated that 30% of refrigeration related CO2 emissions are from refrigerant leaks, so reducing their use inherently reduces emissions.
EnergiVault® is a zero-carbon energy banking system capable of maintaining a refrigerated vehicle’s cargo temperature throughout the whole day, silently, and with Zero emissions.
How does it work?
The EnergiVault is a thermal battery, compact due to its extremely high energy density, and flexible in shape and size to meet restricted space challenges.
Principle - Similar to a home heating system where hot water is produced in a boiler and fed into radiators, EnergiVault works in reverse, silently and efficiently cooling a working-fluid to minus temperatures before pumping through a fan/coil, blower-unit mounted in the truck. (Diag to right).
On board the refrigerated vehicle, there are only two simple moving parts, a small pump and a cold air circulating fan. The likelihood of road-side breakdown is virtually eliminated. With no complex engine-driven refrigeration plant to go wrong, a fully charged EnergiVault cannot let you down!
If it’s this easy, why hasn’t it been done before?
Quite simply, the level of sophistication an EnergiVault system provides has not until now been available. Eutectic (phase change) solutions have been used before in transportation applications, but have been limited, requiring long duration refrigerant charging (freezing) to produce solid ice, with associated poor charge and discharge rates and efficiency. The high reliability EnergiVault system removes these issues.
Operation is hands free and simple.
Battery charging is accomplished through a state-of-the-art charger, consuming low cost, low carbon energy.
The EnergiVault banks energy from ANY source, Solar arrays, Wind turbines, Biomass/electrical, or from low priced energy often available on the grid when a surplus of energy exists and is heavily discounted.
Charging, and Re-charging, can be a rapid process if required accomplished in a few minutes.
A tracking system reports real-time information on payload temperature and EnergiVault conditions, in order to provide trace-ability of cold chain temperatures, predict charging demand required / remaining range available, and support proactive servicing.
The charging station monitors all relevant data to ensure the most economic running profile is constantly updated :
Available energy in the bank
Residual banking capacity
Fluctuating energy cost tracking.
Using operation profiles of refrigerated trailers for mixed compartment and chilled goods, EnergiVault estimates operational savings of more than 50% of carbon emissions and fuel costs, with payback on the EnergiVault system less than 3 years on fuel alone.
The company intends to work with insulated body manufacturers and fleet operators to reduce operating costs and achieve a zero carbon future.