First zero-emissions transport refrigeration unit unveiled by eNow

THE REFRIGERATED delivery truck pictured above is equipped with eNow's new zero-emissions Rayfrigeration unit, powered by photovoltaic solar panels mounted on the vehicle's roof. / COURTESY eNOW
THE REFRIGERATED delivery truck pictured above is equipped with eNow's new zero-emissions Rayfrigeration unit, powered by photovoltaic solar panels mounted on the vehicle's roof. / COURTESY eNOW

WARWICK – Renewable-energy company eNow announced a new solar-powered refrigeration unit last week that has been declared the first zero-emissions unit for the urban commercial transport industry.

Unlike traditional refrigeration units, which are powered by high-polluting, small diesel engines, the Rayfrigeration system features eNow solar photovoltaic panels mounted on the truck’s roof in combination with a Johnson Truck Bodies refrigeration unit and Emerson compressor technology.

The refrigeration unit’s cold plates and auxiliary batteries are initially charged via utility power when the vehicle is plugged in overnight, but while on a delivery route, the roof-mounted solar panels provide power to keep chilled products at the correct temperature.

Tested on a dairy-product delivery truck in Fresno, Calif., the Rayfrigeration unit reduced the truck’s total emissions by 98 percent nitrous oxide, 86 percent carbon dioxide and 97 percent particulate matter over the five-month test period. The 1,800-watt eNow solar system provided enough energy to maintain optimum temperature throughout a typical day of opening and closing the truck doors in California’s summer heat.

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In addition to eliminating harmful emissions, the Rayfrigeration unit is projected to reduce operations costs by up to 90 percent compared with diesel-powered units, by eliminating diesel fuel and maintenance costs and improving battery life.

“The Rayfrigeration product is an important step forward in reducing emissions while maintaining the highest levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction for companies delivering perishable goods,” said Jeff Flath, president and CEO of eNow. “[Our] solar technology is powerful, reliable and efficient, and more than up to the task of providing emissions-free energy for critical tasks such as refrigeration of fresh foods, even the most challenging conditions. We are proud to be a part of this important project.”

Rayfrigeration solar-charging technology is available through eNow, which currently has more than 4,000 solar-powered systems operating nationwide on trucks, buses, emergency and utility vehicles.

The Rayfrigeration initiative was funded in part by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Technology Advancement Program, which encourages innovation through the development of new emission-reduction technologies.

Galen Auer is a PBN contributing writer. Email galen.auer@gmail.com or follow on Twitter at @PBNAuer.

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