Brakes ran 22 trucks with identical chassis, insulated body and equipment: half were equipped with conventional independent diesel-powered refrigeration units and the rest with Frigoblock’s electric alternator-driven refrigeration system, powered from the truck engine.
The operator analysed various parameters, including mileage, fuel consumption of the vehicles and refrigeration units, temperature control and door openings.
In five weeks with Frigoblock, Brakes saved 641 litres of diesel – or 1,692 kg CO2 emissions per vehicle. On an annual basis, it found, CO2 emissions could be reduced by around 17 tonnes per vehicle.
Despite the Frigoblock units delivering almost twice the refrigeration cooling and heating performance, they only affected the vehicles’ mpg by on average just under 10%. This compared with the independent and unregulated diesel engines powering the much smaller refrigeration units, which consumed an additional 768 litres of fuel per vehicle to achieve its cooling effect.
What’s more, since the cleaner (Euro 6) truck engine powers the energy supply to the refrigeration unit with Frigoblock, air quality is improved dramatically – with these vehicles cutting diesel particulates by 93% and NOx and hydrocarbon emissions by 98%.
Brakes has calculated that, based on the 641-litre fuel saving during the test period, the cost saving of diesel alone during the vehicle’s operating life would pay for the Frigoblock unit. It therefore remains the preferred refrigeration equipment for the fleet.