HINO and KARIYA, Japan — In what they are calling a world’s first, Hino Motors Ltd. and DENSO Corp. have co-operated on the creation of a new hybrid refrigerator system for heavy-duty trucks.
According to the two companies, the electric refrigerator won’t require an auxiliary engine or use any of the main engine power. Instead, the new system will direct all of the energy generated from the truck’s hybrid unit solely to the new electric refrigeration system.
Hino and DENSO estimate that because no auxiliary powerplant is required, the hybrid system will represent a 150kg weight reduction over a comparable, traditional system.
In a statement announcing the new system, the companies explain, “Compared with those having the main engine-driven compressor system, the new truck can operate the refrigeration compressor at a constant rotational speed using the energy supplied from hybrid system, which stabilizes the refrigeration performance and quality regardless if the truck is moving or stopped.”
The refrigeration system is built to include an electric compressor and a condenser. It also includes a stand-by unit that can connect to external 200-volt power sources, permitting temperatures to be maintained while the engine is off for extended periods. A timer function is also included to automatically pre-freeze the refrigeration room.
Hino and DENSO say that because the system has been simplified (by eliminating the auxiliary engine) it has fewer tubes and wires, and is therefore easier to maintain.
At this point, the system is only available on the Hino Profia, which was released this month in Japan. Hino and Denso say the hybrid offers significant improvements in fuel economy, and add the Profia’s fuel efficiency figures exceed Japan's 2015 fuel efficiency standards by 5%.