TIP trialling a solar-powered refrigerated trailer

TIP Trailer Services is testing Sunswap's 'Endurance' zero-emission TRU on a Chereau reefer, powered by batteries and solar panels for efficiency, aiming for uninterrupted operation.

TIP trialling a solar-powered refrigerated trailer
TIP trialling a solar-powered refrigerated trailer

Manchester, United Kingdom- Tip Trailer Services Uk Limited., there's a 12-month trial of a UK zero-emission transport refrigeration unit (TRU) called 'Endurance'. It's fitted to a reefer trailer, powered by batteries and solar panels on the roof. Sunswap Inc., a UK clean-tech company, designed it to be highly energy-efficient, offering an emission-free solution for refrigeration.

The zero-emission TRU, called 'Endurance', is adaptable to different trailers, but it's currently fitted to a Chereau reefer optimized for efficiency by Reefer Trailer Centre. Adaptations include vacuum insulation panels, HFO foam, and half-width sliding bulkheads for partial loads. It also has a rear door switch to conserve energy and a front evaporator protector. The trailer will operate in a TIP customer's fleet in the UK to prove its effectiveness without needing extra downtime for recharging.

The TRU is cloud-connected, collecting real-time data to optimize performance. Its intelligent use of data, tailored battery capacity, and solar panels ensure uninterrupted operation. Mains recharging is available if needed. TIP receives regular performance reports. Previous trials in Europe have shown its low voltage, low maintenance, and zero-emission capabilities.

24 hours of operation at frozen temperatures on a single charge

2 days of continuous operation at multiple compartment temperatures

2-3 months of operation at chilled temperatures

Mr. Mike Furnival, managing director of TIP said, “We are always looking for solutions that allow our customers a clear path to decarbonisation of their transport operation, and we anticipate a successful trial of the Sunswap TRU system to contribute towards that. We are looking forward to monitoring the results.”

Mr. Alastair Gough, head of business development at Sunswap said, “The trailer on trial is predicted to demonstrate that around 80% of the refrigeration unit’s power requirement can be drawn from the solar panels and that the trailer can be used as part of the triallist’s normal transport operation with no loss of efficiency, whilst producing zero tailpipe emission. Our experiences to date have indicated that the system can be operated at between 10 and 20% of the cost of diesel units.”

Mr. James Jenkins, Managing Director of the Reefer Trailer Centre had this to said, “At RTC and Chereau we are involved in all sorts of developing technologies in the refrigerated trailer sector. With so many options available now to customers for solutions to help reduce carbon footprint, we need to be involved with as many as we can be. Sunswap has certainly caught the attention of the industry and we are happy to be involved with them.”