Carrier Transicold says its next-generation transport refrigeration units will use a familiar diesel with enhanced controls and more efficient components to meet 2013 exhaust emissions limits.

The units will meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 4 emissions standards starting in January, as well as California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions requirements.

"A major milestone in our continuous product development, this next generation trailer technology boosts performance and efficiency and intelligently coordinates refrigeration with a 'smarter' engine," said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold, during a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show last week.

"The efficiency gains allow us to significantly reduce engine power, enabling better fuel economy."

Changes will be applied to Carrier's current X2, Genesis and Vector reefer units.

The TRUs will continue using the Kubota-made 2.2-liter diesel, but it will be derated by 18-20% because the reefer system's efficiency will require less power.

This means both emissions will be cut by up to 20% and fuel use will be reduced by 5-20%, but cooling performance will be stronger, said David Kiefer, director of marketing and product management.

Design modifications to compressors and generators make them more efficient and reliable, and reduce the weight of Vector units by about 8%. X2 series units will require 24% less refrigerant, reducing another potential source of greenhouse gases.

Derating the engine below 25 horsepower helps compliance with Tier 4. Current products which meet Tier 4 Interim limits will be phased out, he said.

More sensors and more powerful electronic controls, amounting to a full implementation of the previously announced APX system, help the engine burn cleaner and the refrigeration functions operate more precisely.

The APX control system will have new power-management algorithms and intelligent refrigeration system control. Improvements to the condenser, heat exchanger and fan result in better efficiency and sound reduction.

"This technology enhances Carrier Transicold's existing innovative and reliable designs in a way that achieves both greater efficiency and higher performance," Kiefer said.

Other benefits of Carrier's next generation reefers include:

* Improved cooling capacity for most applications, resulting in up to 20% faster pulldown;

* Reliable unit operation in hotter ambient conditions;

* Improvements in durability and longevity due to more lightly loaded components running at lower speeds, and

* Use of maintenance practices similar to current methods.

This technology also responds to new, more stringent EPA tests that, starting in 2013, will require emissions performance over a broader range of operating parameters than in the past.

Carrier's engine emissions system will reduce particulate emissions beyond what is required for EPA Tier 4 compliance and far exceeds the requirements of CARB's applicable ultra-low diesel emission requirement, Kiefer said.

Units featuring the next generation technology will be available in limited quantities by the end of the year, and fully available in 2013.