With an $80,000 investment in research and development and by using Eaton Corp.'s hybrid diesel/electric technology, Hercules Manufacturing Co. has developed a new hybrid cold-plate refrigerated truck body.
The truck body company said its new hybrid system can save refrigerated truck users an estimated $7,000 or more annually per vehicle in fuel and maintenance costs, while reducing yearly carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 43,000 lbs per vehicle, compared to conventional refrigeration systems.
“It is a green solution in terms of the environment, but also in terms of the additional money saved to the companies who employ it,” said Jeffrey Caddick, Hercules’ owner and CEO.
This new Hercules truck body combines heating and cooling capabilities with over-the-road power generation in a Direct-Store-Delivery "DSD" vehicle, he said. This refrigeration design eliminates the complexity of onboard generators and/or inverters with a seamless power management module that uses the hybrid chassis battery system during the delivery day and plug-in electric shore power at night.
Through re-engineering and newly developed electronic controls, Caddick said the truck can use the electricity generated by the hybrid motor to recharge its cold plate refrigeration system on the road, He said this enables carriers to run longer routes s as the weight of the refrigeration system has been reduced to improve fuel mileage.
It also means this type of hybrid refrigerated truck doesn’t need to return home to a terminal for “re-powering” the cold plates in its refrigeration system, which lose their cool gradually, he added.