Thermo King comes clean

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Thermo King says its transport refrigeration units (TRUs) are now capable of meeting strict impending California Air Resource Board (CARB) emissions restrictions.

The company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show it has developed a diesel particulate filter (DPF) for its TRUs which offers a 50% reduction in emissions and requires no maintenance. The DPF comes in a kit that also includes insulation, a back pressure gauge and the control box for select Isuzu engines (2001 and older).

The company allows customers to become CARB-compliant through trade-in programs and leasing and financing options. CARB standards kick in Dec. 31, 2008 for refrigeration units manufactured in 2001 and earlier. Those hauling refrigerated goods into California will have several options for meeting the requirements, including using an engine that meets the required standards, equipping the engine with emission control systems or using an alternative technology.

Thermo King also took the opportunity to introduce some new products at Mid-America.

The company unveiled a new EON dry cell battery that is more efficient and less expensive to operate over its life cycle, announced Ted Fick, president of Thermo King.

He added the new battery boasts a longer life than wet cell batteries and comes with a full-replacement four-year warranty.

The EON battery offers the characteristics of two separate batteries in one box. It can deep cycle as well as provide ample cranking power.

Fick pointed out its five-second cranking power is up to three times as powerful as an equal-sized conventional battery.

The new battery also lasts up to five times longer than traditional wet cell batteries, Fick said. And less engine-on time is required to charge the battery, he added.

Thermo King officials said most of the interest during the show was directed towards the company’s TriPac hybrid auxiliary power unit (APU). Fick said Thermo King controls about 46% of the APU market in the US. Its hybrid system has some advantages over other types of APUs he said.

“We looked at battery-based systems but there were no energy storage devices that could go the distance,” he said, adding truckers would potentially have to wake up in the middle of the night and turn the truck on to charge the APU’s batteries. “We also looked at generator-based systems which are the most common in the industry. But they have to run all the time to provide power and their diesel engines use about 0.2 gallons of diesel per hour.”

Instead, Thermo King opted for a hybrid solution that runs off the truck’s batteries, recharging them when required. The system only runs one-third of the time compared to conventional models, Fick said.

While its APU helps fleets reduce their fuel bills and emissions, Fick said Thermo King is helping the environment in other ways as well. He pointed out the company’s technology takes advantage of mechanical energy transfer, using direct drive components.

Its engines are fuel efficient and operate at low RPMs, he added. And with its TriPac APU, the heater is stored in the cargo department and does not run off the diesel engine.

“When we talk about the environment, it’s more than just saving fuel and lowering emissions,” said Craig Fisher, director of marketing with Thermo King. “We offer a complete package of solutions, from offering alternative energy systems to extending our service intervals. Our environmental initiatives go beyond our truck and trailers products and encompass all of our business units.”

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