Hultsteins Notis 4 Start Dawson

Hultsteins expands availability of hydraulic drive TRUs to UK, Ireland

Feb. 12, 2021
Swedish manufacturer claims its reefers offer the lowest carbon, emissions footprints for transport refrigeration units

Hultsteins is a Swedish and British hydraulic refrigeration systems manufacturer that specializes in the design and production of hydraulic drive refrigeration systems. For more than 50 years, the company has mainly focused on Sweden and the Nordic countries but, in recent years, Hultsteins has introduced its sustainable refrigeration systems to the UK and Ireland.

The concept is as simple as it is efficient: Hydraulic drive TRUs use an engine PTO-driven hydraulic pump to harness the energy from the truck engine and use it to drive the compressor of the fridge directly, there is no need to convert energy to electricity in order to drive the compressor.

This delivers the power to ensure 100% cooling capacity—even at idle speed—and applies to single or multi-temperature operation to suit rigid or drawbar applications, the company maintained.

Hultsteins’ hydraulic drive fridge units are claimed to offer the lowest carbon and emissions footprint available for transport refrigeration. Couple this with what the company describes as ultra-low operating and maintenance costs, excellent reliability and a long working life and it is easy to understand why cold chain operators have relied on Hultsteins for nearly 60 years.

“In today’s environmentally conscious world, these transport refrigeration solutions have truly come into their own,” said Graham Usher, sales distributor for Hultsteins products. “Not only do they reduce carbon by around 90% with DPM and NOx emissions being slashed by over 95%, but they come with significant cost reductions when running a hydraulic system, which uses around 90% less fuel compared to a conventional TRU.

“Add this to the low maintenance requirement and Hultsteins’ five-year R&M package, which is included with all fridges as standard, and operators can expect to see a significant reduction in operating costs whilst slashing their carbon & emissions, in comparison to operating a standard diesel fridge engine.”

Graham also points to the considerable cost increases that will hit all UK operators of diesel fridge units in April 2022, when Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) withdraws the current rebate on red diesel for use in refrigerated transport.

“Currently, red diesel attracts duty at 11.14p per liter,” Usher said. “When increased to the current white diesel level of 57.95p per liter, assuming a typical consumption of 2 litres per hour, the running cost over a typical annual rate of 2,000 hours will increase by £1,872 ($2,588) for each diesel fridge unit. Fitting a Hultsteins fridge makes great commercial sense and it’s much better for our environment too.”

Bridging to an electric future

Carriers that can’t move yet move away from diesel fridge units still can save money and reduce emissions with Hultsteins’ Ecogen, Usher said. “An electric-hydraulic drive system, Ecogen works in tandem with the existing diesel fridge and uses an engine PTO to generate a constant 400 volts at idle speed,” he insisted. “This onboard electric generator effectively transforms the existing diesel TRU into an electric fridge.

“This allows operators to run their fridge unit on electric when on the road while saving fuel, cutting emissions and reducing noise. Ecogen runs any marque of diesel fridge and fits to any rigid or tractor unit, providing a PTO is present on the truck engine.”

Ecogen currently is being tested by a number of leading operators, including Gist. The company is trialing the system at its Spalding site over a three-month period.

“The hybrid-drive system harnesses kinetic energy from the truck and recycles it into electrical energy for the transport refrigeration unit,” said Mick Pethard, Gist engineering manager. “By taking power via the rear of the engine into this equipment, which converts it into electricity to power the fridge on electric rather than red diesel, means no CO2 is being created by the fridge.”

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Commercial Vehicle Staff

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