While there have been many improvements to marine and road transport refrigeration systems since they became popular modes of delivering fresh and frozen cargo more than 40 years ago, the basic concept of using man-made chemical refrigerants as the cooling agent has not changed - until this week. Carrier Transicold, the world’s leader in high technology transport refrigeration and shipping temperature control solutions and a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), announced two significant innovations using the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide (CO2), revolutionizing refrigeration technology for temperature-controlled transport applications.
At the Intermodal Europe Show in Hamburg, Germany, Carrier Transicold revealed today the NaturaLINE™ container refrigeration system, the world’s first to use natural refrigerant carbon dioxide (CO2) for marine applications. A day earlier, at the Solutrans Fair in Lyon, France, the company displayed a CO2 concept trailer refrigeration model for road applications.
The introduction of natural refrigerant technology comes at a time when transport refrigeration customers face increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint.
“While presently there are no bans on the use of traditional refrigerant chemicals in transport refrigeration applications, Carrier Transicold is committed to offering a more environmental alternative with natural refrigerant solutions to our customers, even before potential regulations take effect,” said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold. “By using CO2 as a natural refrigerant, the NaturaLINE design improves upon our PrimeLINE™ unit’s ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent compared to previous units.”
Carrier uses CO2 recycled from the atmosphere for refrigerant cooling, so it adds no new environmental risk. Considering that the average energy consumption of a container machine using standard refrigeration can reach more than 10,000 kWh per year, CO2 emissions total more than 10 million metric tons for the installed base in excess of one million refrigerated containers. Though this is considered a relatively small number when compared to CO2 emissions produced by the container ships themselves, and even smaller when compared to total emissions produced by global industry, the result still requires attention and action to reduce emissions where possible.
The NaturaLINE product design introduction, which includes a patented, multi-stage compressor and several other innovations equal to the energy efficiency of the industry’s most energy efficient unit also produced by Carrier, comes exactly one year after the company announced it had developed the technology and successfully completed three demonstration voyages with one of the leading global container shipping lines, Hapag-Lloyd.
At the Solutrans Fair, Carrier Transicold’s CO2 concept trailer refrigeration unit compared very favorably to the conventional units it will eventually replace. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2 is lower than other alternate natural refrigerants, such as propane and ammonia, so even in the event of a leak, the use of CO2 adds no new environmental risk.
“We have an ongoing commitment to apply refrigerant alternatives that minimize environmental impact while serving customer needs,” Appel said. “That’s why the goal of the NaturaLINE container unit and the CO2 concept trailer programs is to significantly reduce the global environmental impact, and improve energy efficiency at the same time.” “Carrier knows CO2,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer for UTC Climate, Controls & Security Systems. “We’ve mastered the technology to use recycled CO2 from the air and apply it as a refrigerant to revolutionize environmentally progressive products for the transport and stationary refrigeration markets. At the same time, we’ve reduced CO2 emissions from our operations by 25 percent from 2006 to 2010 through measures like energy efficiency upgrades at our factories. This underscores our fundamental belief that green products start at a green company.”
For more information on Carrier Transicold and its products and services, visit www.transicold.carrier.com.
About Carrier Transicold
Carrier Transicold helps improve transport and shipping temperature control with a complete line of equipment and services for refrigerated transport and cold chain visibility. For more than 40 years, Carrier Transicold has been an industry leader, providing customers around the world with the most advanced, energy efficient and environmentally sound container refrigeration systems and generator sets, direct-drive and diesel truck units and trailer refrigeration systems. Carrier Transicold is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. Visit www.transicold.carrier.com for more information.