"We're proud to be receiving this award, which recognizes that Webasto's Storage Core Technology, named BlueCool Truck, is a better, cleaner, more cost-effective, more efficient solution for truck operators than any other idle-free cab cooling technology available today," said John Thomas, Director of Commercial Vehicles / Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, Webasto Product North America. "BlueCool Truck is the only zero-emission engine-off cooling technology to have received approval from California's Air Resources Board (CARB)."
Frost & Sullivan cited technology, return on investment, payback potential, environmental footprint, and upfront and lifecycle costs as the major focal points for potential adopters of anti-idling solutions.
"BlueCool Truck, a part of Webasto's Engine-Off Comfort Solutions portfolio, is an anti-idling solution that addresses these issues directly and comprehensively," said Sandeep Kar, Frost & Sullivan Heavy-Truck Technologies Program Manager. "Webasto's BlueCool Truck no-idling bunk cooler showcases its technology innovation leadership in idling regulation compliance systems. This unique and innovative technology offers a solution to fleets and owner-operators on the issues of regulation compliance, emissions and idling reduction, and most importantly, operating cost reduction."
BlueCool Truck's source of cooling is a high-tech cold storage unit that is charged (frozen) while the truck is running. During times of driver rest, the system uses only small amounts of electricity from the existing vehicle batteries (no additional batteries are needed) to circulate super-chilled coolant between the cold storage unit and a heat exchanger installed in the truck sleeper cabin. Pushed by four small, exceptionally quiet air distribution fans, the cold air will keep the bunk area cool for up to 10 hours in most ambient conditions. Once charged, the system uses no diesel fuel and therefore produces no emissions during the cooling operation because it runs independently of the OEM air conditioning system.
The principle behind how BlueCool Truck works is not new. Using a natural phenomenon called latent heat, freezing the cold storage unit enables the storage of around 60 times more chilling capacity than if the unit remained liquid. However, it has been known for centuries that ice has poor thermal conductivity and extracting cooling from ice efficiently and effectively is extremely difficult. This problem has been overcome in BlueCool Truck by embedding the water/ice in a high-tech graphite matrix with a resulting thermal conductivity that is 100 times better than a pure water/ice exchange. The design provides a highly efficient, compact and dynamic thermal energy storage system that produces an assured cooling output at a constant temperature.