Vector™ Units Build 10-Year Legacy in North America
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the North American introduction of Carrier Transicold’s Vector™ platform, a unique design that couples a high-performance generator to a diesel engine for the sole purpose of powering an all-electric refrigeration system. The platform streamlines the traditional architecture of transport refrigeration units (TRUs), and like America’s trucking industry, Vector technology has been rapidly cruising into the future over the last decade.
“After all these years, the Vector platform continues to remain unique among TRU designs used in North America,” said David Brondum, director, product management and sustainability, Carrier Transicold, explaining that its hybrid diesel-electric technology eliminated many mechanical components used in conventional systems, resulting in reliable refrigeration performance with reduced maintenance needs.
"The Vector platform design eliminated many serviceable components, such as belts, shaft seals, vibrasorbers and alternators,” added Brondum. “With fewer serviceable parts, there is less maintenance, which remains one of the key attractions of the technology.”
The Vector platform’s E-Drive™ all-electric refrigeration system enabled electric standby to become a standard feature, without penalties to weight, performance or maintenance associated with add-on electric standby systems. Use of electric power when a TRU is parked for loading, unloading or staging enables the diesel engine to be shut off, eliminating its fuel use, noise and emissions.
Any fleet with access to a 460 volt power supply can simply plug in and run the refrigeration system at the same full capacity that diesel operation provides – another Vector platform first. With conventional systems, in contrast, standby capability requires installing an electromechanical system, at extra cost, adding weight and maintenance, while reducing refrigeration capacity of the TRU compared to diesel operation.
A Proven Platform Refined
When the Vector multi-temp system was introduced to North America in 2006, the technology had already proven itself in Europe, where Carrier first launched it in 1999.
“The Vector unit was well received in North America, and we believed that with design enhancements, the technology held even more potential,” Brondum said. In 2009 Carrier Transicold introduced the Vector 6000 series, boasting significantly more capacity than the original model. Its development was accelerated by Carrier Transicold’s extensive use of telematics for real-time performance monitoring of units in field trials – another Vector milestone.
Today’s 8000-series Vector units are the third generation North America units and deliver even greater cooling capacities and operating efficiency, consuming up to 30 percent less fuel per Btu than prior models.
Designed for compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 standard for particulate emissions, the Vector 8500 single-temperature unit and Vector 8600MT multi-temperature unit also produce 26 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than the Vector 6500 and 6600MT.
The Vector 8100 is engineless – a plug-in-only unit intended as an alternative for trailers used in stationary cold storage operations that would otherwise use a diesel-powered unit.
“Thanks to its flexibility, efficiency and reduced maintenance requirements, the Vector platform has grown in popularity every year since its North American debut a decade ago,” Brondum said. “We anticipate it will continue to deliver outstanding value and offer regulatory compliance to North American fleets for many years.”
Coming in Part 2, E-Drive Revealed: The Vector Platform’s Future-Forward Compliance Flexibility