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Sainsbury’s receives prototype reefer unit

April 26, 2016
United Kingdom-based retailer Sainsbury’s has become the first customer to take delivery of Carrier Transicold’s prototype natural refrigerant trailer unit.

United Kingdom-based retailer Sainsbury’s has become the first customer to take delivery of Carrier Transicold’s prototype natural refrigerant trailer unit. This new generation of transport refrigeration system for trailers operates exclusively with carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigerant, which has a global warming potential (GWP) of just one.

The delivery marks the first of three units to join the Sainsbury’s fleet in 2016 as part of a three-year technology field trial. It builds on the success of a 2013 pilot, which saw the supermarket operate a modified road version of Carrier Transicold’s NaturaLINE refrigeration system for ocean containers—making it the first naturally refrigerated trailer operating anywhere.

This new prototype system uses advanced technology from the NaturaLINE refrigeration system, assembled inside a traditional Carrier Vector unit chassis and powered by the same patented E-Drive all-electric technology as Carrier Transicold’s Vector range. It stands out for its use of the natural refrigerant CO2—also known as R744—in a closed-loop system.

“Delivering the first dedicated natural refrigerant trailer prototype into service marks a huge milestone in the development of over-the-road refrigeration using CO2,” said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems. “Our ultimate vision is to see temperature-controlled units running on natural refrigerant in mainstream production. Today, with the support of one of our largest European customers, we are one step closer.”

CO2 is a safe, non-ozone-depleting gas with a GWP of one, making it the baseline against which other refrigerants are measured. The GWP of CO2 is also lower than other natural refrigerants such as propane and ammonia.

“We’re thrilled to be working closely with Carrier Transicold as they spearhead this innovation,” said Gary King, operations support manager, Sainsbury’s. “The beauty of Carrier Transicold’s prototype trailer unit is it delivers a massive reduction in F-Gases by using natural refrigerant. This will directly help us achieve our ambitious environmental and sustainability goals, while delivering a seismic leap forward in terms of sustainability within the cold chain.”

The first of the three new prototype trailers to enter service with Sainsbury’s is a 13.6-meter dual-compartment tri-axle reefer, manufactured in the UK by Gray & Adams. The unit was installed by a specialist team from Carrier Transicold in North America, who worked alongside technicians at Carrier Transicold North West in Liverpool.

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