The Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer shown by Hyundai Translead at the 2019 NACV Show features a nitrogen-powered refrigeration unit that emits no noise or harmful exhaust gases into the atmosphere. - Image: Hyundai Translead

The Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer shown by Hyundai Translead at the 2019 NACV Show features a nitrogen-powered refrigeration unit that emits no noise or harmful exhaust gases into the atmosphere.

Image: Hyundai Translead

While Hyundai’s Neptune 6 hydrogen concept truck was attracting all the crowds at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta (NACV), and equally interesting concept from the Hyundai Translead trailer division offered a glimpse at how the future of zero emissions reefer units may evolve.

Hyundai said its new, Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer on display on the NACV Show Floor features a nitrogen-powered refrigeration unit that emits no pollutants into the air and uses nitrogen gas for cooling cold chain products. According to Stuart James, the chief strategy office for Hyundai Translead, the Nitro ThermoTech can reduce temperatures more quickly than a traditional refrigeration unit and can also maintain precise control of desired temperatures. The intelligent control system and independent cooling power maximize thermal efficiency. The HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer is not affected by outside temperatures. Maximum power is always available, even when the truck’s engine is off or idling.

The Hyundai Translead Nitro ThermoTech trailer carries a supply tank of super-cold nitrogen gas to keep trailer temperatures at precise levels all during transport. The nitrogen gas vents harmlessly into the atmosphere once it loses its cooling properties. - Photo: Jack Roberts

The Hyundai Translead Nitro ThermoTech trailer carries a supply tank of super-cold nitrogen gas to keep trailer temperatures at precise levels all during transport. The nitrogen gas vents harmlessly into the atmosphere once it loses its cooling properties.

Photo: Jack Roberts

Thanks to its nitrogen-powered refrigeration unit, James added, the HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer cooling unit is virtually noiseless which significantly reduces noise pollution for drivers as well as at the point of deliveries. He pointed out that this is a significant advantage for night-time deliveries in urban and suburban neighborhoods where noise can be distracting.

“This refrigerated trailer concept represents a significant advancement in our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility,” Bongjae Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Translead during a press conference at NACV on Oct. 29, 2019. “By developing innovative technology, Hyundai Translead is helping address climate change. The HT Nitro ThermoTech reduces pollutants and emissions while providing reliable and effective cold chain food transportation.”

The Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer also features new, enhanced structural designs, James added. The side wall, front wall, and roof are each constructed as a one-piece, structural sandwich foam panel with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) skins. The materials are made without posts and roof bows. The one-piece structural foam panel design creates a lighter weight trailer with increased wall strength and enhanced thermal efficiency, while maintaining the same cubic trailer volume. The improved structure panels are bonded to the rails, which reduce thermal bridges, remove potential water intrusion, and provide a cleaner finish.

Hyundai Translead noted that currently the Nitro ThermoTech trailer is a concept unit undergoing both performance evaluation while registering feedback and interest from potential North American fleet customers. No timeline was given for an eventual entry into the North American reefer market during the show.

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