Carrier Transicold focuses on efficiency

| March 21, 2012

Carrier Transicold announced Wednesday in Louisville a new “Fourward” series of both Vector Hybrid and X-2 belt-driven refrigeration units that improve operating efficiencies, while also incorporating emission control reduction technology to meet EPA Tier 4 standards.

Carrier’s director of marketing and product management David Kiefer described the technology as “the next leap forward.” He said, “It does more while consuming less like a modern smartphone or four-cylinder car. The units produce less emissions and less wasted resources.”

Much of the improvement came through sophisticated engineering of refrigeration components like the evaporator and condenser. For example, these “micro-channel” heat exchangers need less compressor head pressure to force the refrigerant through the system, and the thinner coils they incorporate require less horsepower from the fans. An electronically controlled expansion valve helps. All are coordinated with the APEX control system, which has more sophisticated algorithms to optimize all the factors for efficiency. Noise levels are also reduced, in part because of the reduced power needed from the fans.

The units require 18 percent to 20 percent less horsepower to operate, but utilize the same Kubota diesel engine with a power rating significantly higher than the units require, the goal being increased reliability, durability and longevity. The engine can produce 26-28 hp, but the units only require 20-22 hp to operate, yet cool-down, recovery after a door opening and the ability to maintain temperature conditions in extreme climates are all improved, the company said.

The engine is equipped with a sophisticated DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst)/DPF unit that Kiefer said “is not your father’s DPF.” This device reduces particulates 95 percent below requirements to meet Tier 4 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board regulations, and also substantially reduces unburned hydrocarbons. It will normally need to regenerate itself only about once in 24 hours, and won’t require ash removal until it has run at least 3,000 hours.

Because of the reduced power requirements, not only will regulated emissions be reduced, but the emission of CO2 (greenhouse gases) will drop, too. The X-2 units also need significantly less refrigerant, which is a further boon to greenhouse gas reduction in case of leakage. The generator and motor on the hybrid Vector units both will be lighter in weight.

Partial production will begin this year and full production will start in 2013.