eNow wins grant for green truck refrigeration unit

eNow announced it has received a $400,000 grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) — also referred to as the Valley Air District — to deploy its air pollution and greenhouse gas reducing solar panel solutions in the area’s transportation networks.

Challenge Dairy Products, Johnson Truck Bodies, and Emerson are also involved in the project. The truck involved deploys a diesel-free, all-electric truck refrigeration unit powered by eNow solar panels and Johnson All Electric (AE) Cold Plate System. As such, these systems are exempt from carbon emissions as defined by the Air Resources Board (ARB).

The proposed project is for the demonstration of an electric replacement for truck refrigeration units. eNow said it is collaborating with Johnson Truck Bodies to provide the demonstration unit, and Challenge Dairy will operate the demonstration vehicle. The proposed system uses photovoltaic-enhanced battery electric refrigeration systems augmented with a hybrid active evaporator/cold plate refrigeration system to provide for a 12-hour route operation. The demonstration system will be sized for a “medium temperature application” suitable for produce or dairy product delivery. Both Emerson and Johnson Truck Bodies will conduct refrigeration system tests in collaboration with eNow and Challenge Dairy defining parameters for remote monitoring.  

“We are delighted to be working with the Valley Air District and our partners on this project,” said Jeff Flath, founder and CEO of eNow. “The district’s approach to reducing air pollution, along with their fiscally responsible practices, is right in line with our core values of people, planet, and profit. All parties involved in this project have a substantial track record of not only supporting renewable energy, but of being innovators in the field as well. Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) has made great strides forward in a short time and we are proud to be a part of a project that brings together some of the best elements of EaaS, which in this case combines engineering and electrical finesse with the transportation industry’s most advanced solar panels.”

“Johnson Truck Bodies considers this new innovation to be a big step forward for the refrigerated transport industry and the environment. We are all about developing new electric refrigeration solutions to reduce cost and eliminate emissions which are a benefit to everyone. This project is a natural fit for us,” said Ron Ricci, president of Johnson Truck Bodies. “Harnessing solar power for truck refrigeration systems requires integration of exciting new refrigeration technology and extended battery power making it possible to do what was once thought impractical. With anti-idling laws on the increase, this is bound to become an attractive option for the refrigerated transportation industry in the future.”

“As a Valley company, we are proud and excited to be involved in a project that will provide better air quality for our community, and potentially the world,” said Tom Ditto, vice president of foodservice for Challenge Dairy. “Eliminating truck idling for refrigeration and therefore pollution is an innovative and financially responsible way that is key to sustaining a healthy environment for everyone.”

The project is currently in development and is expected to begin testing in September 2016.

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