New valve for refrigeration units

| April 01, 2011

Thermo King announced the development of an Electronic Throttling Valve, designed to reduce fuel costs, extend maintenance intervals and improve temperature control performance on its T-series single-temp truck units with scroll compressors. These units include the T-600, T-800 and T-1000.

Thermo King also announced improvements to its SB-30 series refrigeration units to reduce fuel and maintenance costs and driver involvement with the refrigeration unit. The announcements were made March 31 in Louisville, Ky.

Doug Lenz, director of product management, said the T-series units formerly used a “fixed” suction throttling valve, which maintains a constant evaporator pressure. The electronic unit measures evaporator and head pressures and other conditions and allows optimum performance by adapting to the load and weather conditions, maintaining a constant head pressure and condenser temperature. Lenz said this “results in more output under most conditions.” The unit “can pull down 20 percent faster and has fewer operating hours. This can save 20 percent on fuel.” With fewer operating hours, the device can also extend maintenance intervals, he said.

According to Lenz, the valve feeds its position back to the electronic controller, and thus can be set to more than 700 positions to take maximum advantage of weather and load. In addition to the fuel and maintenance savings, the box temperature recovers much more quickly after a lengthy door opening, meaning the food is kept fresher.

The improved performance also means less time waiting for initial cool down and reduces high speed operation, which is expected to extend the unit’s longevity.

With the SB-30 series, the company found that ultra low sulfur diesel and bio-diesel fuels would occasionally clog the small strainer that provided initial fuel treatment. This has been replaced by a strainer that is 100 times larger, contained in a clear glass bowl and located near the fuel filter where maintenance personnel and even drivers can easily keep an eye on it to provide “a visual indicator of a clog,” Lenz said.

If the strainer clogs, it can be screwed off and it and the bowl cleaned with solvent, restoring full fuel flow. A new, finer 5-micron secondary filter provides a second line of defense against injection system damage.

Enhancements to this unit also include a new controller that allows data transfer to a USB flash drive. This provides a time savings of 180 hours per year to an average 500-vehicle fleet by eliminating time spent cabling a laptop to the fleet’s reefer units. And, a more accurate electronic fuel sensor is available as an option. This device can reduce downtime produced when units run out of fuel and the related load loss claims, Thermo King said.

The company also announced development of a high-tech evaporator blower, designed to significantly reduce the power required to create airflow through the evaporator and around the box, thus creating significant fuel savings. The blower is expected to save about 7 percent on fuel while reducing run time, the company said.

Another enhancement will be the TracKing telematics system, which will use cellular, satellite and GPS technology to provide temperature, location, and real-time alarm information. The enhancements will be offered by June, the company said.


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