New Thermo-King fridge design promises 30% better fuel economy and 40% quicker temperature pull-down UPDATED22 June 2020

Thermo-King’s new trailer fridge uses a new 48V mild hybrid power architecture.

That, plus other design improvements, promise to reduce fuel consumption by 30% and increase the speed of temperature pulldown by 40% compared to the ‘next best unit in the market’.

The latter also enables the A-400 and A-500 models fitted with electronic engine speed control to monitor its fuel consumption in real time and predict when it will run dry (although an optional ultrasonic fuel tank sensor will help prevent that occurrence). That is said to be a market-first Telematics hardware is installed as standard; new units will also come with a two-year connectivity package free of charge. The device’s new controller includes a Bluetooth connection for the driver.

The Advancer unit, now on sale and entering production in July, is said to be the first trailer fridge that can vary air flow of the internal evaporator fans and blowers and external condenser fans without having to throttle the engine to deliver greater cooling. Instead, customers can balance cooling, flow and engine speed.

Although Thermo-King continues to use the same engine supplier and direct-drive engine-compressor architecture as before, the Advancer unit can also be run off of external power sources, including an axle drive currently in development with BPW (which would be powered by energy from a regenerative braking system).

The system has been undergoing static testing for two years, and has also undergone road trials in different climates around the world amounting to more than 1m km and tens of thousands of operating hours.

The redesigned fridge is also said to offer a 60% reduction in service time and 30% reduction in service costs.

Although Thermo-King officials admit it will come at a premium compared to existing models, they estimate that fuel savings will generate a payback time of 24 months.

UPDATED: fixed a typo in the third paragraph: added 'control' after 'electronic speed'.

William Dalrymple

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Thermo-King (Europe)

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