Thermo King products, technologies showcased

May 1, 2008
Thermo King launched several new products, among them a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and an Extreme Arctic Kit for its TriPac anti-idle solution, and

Thermo King launched several new products, among them a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and an Extreme Arctic Kit for its TriPac anti-idle solution, and offered a glimpse at other innovations coming soon.

The Extreme Arctic Kit for the TriPac Hybrid Auxiliary Idle Reduction and Temperature Management System has been designed for lower operating costs and longer engine life, especially in cold weather.

Numerous studies have shown that the majority of mechanical engine wear, up to 90%, occurs during engine start-up, said Craig Fisher, director of marketing, Thermo King Americas. “Cold weather start-up is potentially even more damaging as oil pressure will vary widely during the first several minutes of a cold-engine start.”

To avoid this situation, the Extreme Arctic Kit includes both a coolant and oil heater to ensure that engine wear is no different than during warm weather starts.

When the TriPac system senses a coolant temperature below 30°F, the system automatically starts the TriPac engine and engages the coolant and oil heaters, explained Fisher. The engine then circulates the coolant between the engine block and the TriPac, continuously monitoring the coolant temperature until it reaches 60°F.

“With the Extreme Arctic Kit, the TriPac system not only keeps the driver comfortable in the coldest of environments, it makes sure the tractor starts easily every time with minimal wear and tear,” Fisher said,

TriPac DPF

The diesel particulate filter (DPF) for the TriPac has been designed to meet auxiliary power unit (APU) emissions requirements by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for APUs running in California.

Available as an aftermarket or original equipment option, the DPF has been submitted for CARB approval and is expected to be available in spring 2008.

Regeneration, the process of burning off particulate matter trapped in the DPF element, takes place during normal driving hours with no disruption to the driver during rest periods, said Tom Kampf, Thermo King's APU product manager. Extended APU runtime between regenerations assures minimal driver involvement and makes regeneration the exception rather than the rule.

He said the TriPac DPF will not diminish fuel economy and places no extra strain on the APU. Designed for minimal maintenance to reduce costs and downtime, the DPF filter also reduces engine noise, making the TriPac system even quieter.

SLX reefer

Thermo King displayed its new SLX trailer refrigeration unit, built for improved performance, reduced environmental impact, and lower cost of ownership.

The unit, launched late last year in Europe, “has significantly upsized refrigeration components that relate to performance such that engine operating speeds have been reduced with no loss in performance,” said Fisher. “Slower engine speeds give a quieter engine, which uses less fuel and prolongs the life of moving parts to increase reliability.”

Thermo King is gauging customer interest and gathering feedback on its new SLX technology, as it is considering bringing it to the North American marketplace.

Fisher said the SLX unit provides 20% better fuel economy, reduces particulate emissions by 40% and carbon dioxide emissions by 20%, and is 60% quieter. What's more, the unit has been built to be more than 99% recyclable by weight.


Thermo King is developing the next generation of its OptiSet temperature management system. It helps manage temperature requirements to coincide with particular hauling condition needs, in order to reduce engine run time for minimized fuel consumption.

The new OptiSet+ system has a library of some 500 different profiles for cargo, developed through a partnership with leading experts in the field of agriculture and food safety. The user-friendly system will allow customers to modify profiles, as well as customize them to meet particular cargo requirements for the temperature-controlled environment.


Thermo King is putting the finishing touches on a high-tech air purification type system for refrigerated trailers. It is designed to protect air and surfaces from bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses, and improve the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables and other perishable products.

The Environment Management System (EMS) is a trailer environment management system that “will reduce airborne pathogens inside by up to 99.9% by sanitizing all exposed surfaces,” said Fisher. “It will extend product life on average by about 30 percent, reduce shrinkage by about 15 percent, and greatly increase food safety.

“We believe this product will revolutionize this industry. Put the EMS inside a trailer and it will essentially kill anything bad that is going on in it that could possibly harm food.”

The product, to be launched later this year, evolved from Thermo King parent company Ingersoll Rand's Climate Control Technologies. The division developed a clean air and surface sanitation technology to reduce food safety risks, increase shelf life of perishable products, and maintain the quality of perishable products longer in warehouses, distribution centers, and food processing facilities.

Standby power

Thermo King's SmartPower electric standby is available as an option on several trailer and truck refrigeration units, including the multi-temp Spectrum SB and single-temp SB-210 trailer units, and the MD, TS, RD and multi-temp Spectrum TS truck units.

During its operation, power to the unit is supplied by an electric motor connected to a high voltage power source. The unit controls and instruments for electric standby operation are the same as those used for diesel engine operation.

The unit will automatically switch to electric operation when a power cord is connected and the standby power is switched on. If the electric power supply is interrupted, the unit will switch back to diesel power.

Thermo King has offered electric standby technology for more than 50 years, Fisher noted.

Fisher said the company plans to “speed up” new product introductions, and is well on its way to debuting new truck and trailer refrigeration units, along with a new APU.

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