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Thermo King Introduces Smarter, Efficient Refrigeration Unit

September 21, 2016

Thermo King introduced the SLXi platform of single- and multi-temperature trailer refrigeration units, developed with a focus on unit intelligence, communication, fuel consumption and temperature management.

Company officials made the announcement at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany.

“Innovation goes beyond simply creating new products,” said Karin De Bondt, vice president and general manager for truck, trailer and bus at Thermo King in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It is about addressing unique customer needs through connectivity, data-driven intelligence, real-user insights, and the ability to merge new and emerging technologies later based upon customer needs.”

The SLXi range includes tailorable operational parameters dependent on application and ambient conditions to better meet customer needs. The customized profile conditions create better performance and fuel savings of 10%-20% compared to previous models, according to Thermo King.

The SLXi is also fully telematics-enabled, giving fleets full visibility of the unit and load condition through Thermo King’s TK BlueBox communication device and Bluetooth. The TK BlueBox collects and stores unit data which can be accessed through a free smartphone app.  This enables real-time unit management and access to critical data. Users can manage defrost, pre-trip, set point and additional operating mode settings remotely.

The unit’s SR-3 temperature controller allows set point control and temperature displays to provide more accurate temperatures in increments of 0.1 degrees Celsius. It is capable of greater temperature control and more optimized fuel efficiency due to more flexible and broader temperature bands in Cycle Sentry mode.

In multi-temperature models, Precision Temperature Control reduces temperature deviation by up to 80% over previous technology and will maintain compartment temperature within around 0.15 degrees Celsius, dependent on operating conditions. PTC provides an automatic pre-set of the capacity modulation and the temperature control to secure an optimum environment in the center and rear trailer compartments, where 95% of customers transport fresh products.

The SLXi range is also designed to be more environmentally friendly. The SLXi units require lower engine speeds and lower fuel consumption due to a 27% larger condenser coil. Thermo King says the annual CO2 emissions of the SLXI have been cut by 2.4 tons and NOx exhaust emissions were reduced by 15% compared to its predecessor. Additionally, use of the R-452A refrigerant lowers the global warming potential by approximately half compared to the R404A refrigerant.

“We collaborated with hundreds of customers and dealers to understand the actual ambient conditions, temperatures and operating models for different types of cargo in daily use,” said David O’Gorman, product manager at Thermo King. “We listened and then spent thousands of hours on research and development to design new features and enhancements for the next level of refrigerant trailer unit platform, the SLXi.”

Thermo King also showed its Hybrid Drive Trailer concept combining the knowledge and technologies from both Thermo King and Frigoblock and will become part of the SLXi refrigerated trailer platform.

The Hybrid Drive Trailer concept offers additional fuel and operational savings, as well as low emission and noise levels enabling transport companies access to inner city areas and restricted zones.

The Thermo King Hybrid Drive allows a refrigerated semi-trailer attached to a tractor with a Frigoblock Enviro Drive inverter filter to run electrically. This enables the trailer refrigeration unit to be powered as a hybrid drive, by either the electric alternator or through its own independent diesel engine.

This solution combines the alternator and the diesel engine to offer a potential reduction of 1,320 gallons of fuel per year in companies with demanding distribution operations.

The standard TK BlueBox telematics system stores the data and provides ability for two-way communication to ensure that the load is protected at all times.

Also shown at IAA, the new UT Spectrum unit extends the range of the UT-Series platform of products. The UT-Series offers under-mount refrigeration units for truck and drawbar trailer applications, designed to meet the needs of urban distributors who require multiple temperature zones,

The UT Spectrum unit provides protection for both fresh and frozen goods in a range of two and three compartment configurations while meeting low noise requirements faced by distribution operations. These zone configurations ensure great flexibility to meet operational needs, minimizing cost and optimizing the distribution logistics of temperature sensitive goods.

Developed to minimize environmental impact while delivering efficiency gains and a lower total cost of ownership, the UT Spectrum can offer reliability, reduced operating and maintenance costs, and low emissions.

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