Trailer Talk

All-Electric Reefer Unit Goes No Where But Uses Less Power Doing It

Redesign of an engineless Vector system saves more energy and money than one from 2010, Carrier Transicold says.

May 16, 2014

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We think of trailers as cargo conveyances, on the move, carrying their payloads from shipper to receiver and making money for their owners. The truth is, much of the time trailers are sitting still in yards and terminals, waiting to be loaded or unloaded.  

And there’s a whole ‘nother category of trailers that never get out of where they’re parked because they’re meant to store products on-site. Carrier Transicold had these vehicles in mind when it enhanced the efficiency of an all-electric reefer unit. 

Transicold’s new Vector 8100 E-Drive reefer consumes 20% less electricity while delivering up to 4% higher capacity than the model it succeeds, the Vector 5100, the company said in a release. It’s part of the engine-driven Vector series which have fewer parts than earlier models, but the E-Drive has even fewer because it no engine. 

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“Designed especially for supermarkets, produce warehouses, food distribution centers and other businesses that use refrigerated trailers for on-site cold storage, the innovative Vector 8100 unit provides quiet electric operation without the noise, emissions and fuel consumption associated with diesel-powered units,” said Mark Fragnito, a product manager.  

The latest Vector models use an efficient and fully sealed electric scroll compressor that has 70% fewer moving parts and is 200 pounds lighter than the reciprocating compressor it replaces. This contributes to a 13% weight reduction for the Vector 8100 unit. 

“Our original engineless Vector model was well received by customers when introduced in 2010,” said Fragnito. “Supermarkets and produce distribution centers that used diesel-powered trailers for temporary or portable cold storage found it to be a more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective option than using diesel-powered units."

“In addition to reducing noise and emissions, plugging into an electric power source reduces operating costs by up to 70 percent compared with running on diesel, he said.” 

As an example of its ultra-high-efficiency design, the Vector 8100 achieves 15% to 25% more BTUs of cooling per kilowatt consumed at typical rating conditions than previous designs, he said. The Vector 8100 also adds the APX control system that has a large illuminated dashboard display that provides on-screen temperature graphing, and a USB dock to facilitate data downloads and software uploads. 

The standard Vector 8100 E-Drive runs on 460-volt power, but units can be ordered with Transicold’s optional Flex Power dual voltage system for running on 230 volts.

The company has more information on its website

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Author Bio

Tom Berg

Senior Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

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