McCulla Transport, a refrigerated transportation specialist based in Ireland, recently opted to begin retrofitting its fleet of 130 trucks and 220 trailers with Hultsteins’ Ecogen system, which converts existing diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs) into electrically powered reefer units that reduce carbon emissions.
McCulla began trialing Hultsteins’ Ecogen2 unit 12 months ago with a supermarket customer, the companies reported. The carrier’s trucks are a mix of CNG- and diesel-powered vehicles, but its TRUs all were conventional units powered by CO2-producing diesel units before turning to Hultsteins for further emissions reduction.
“We’re doing all this fantastic work on the front end of the CNG trucks, which have 93% lower emissions than a diesel equivalent, but we’re hauling this 45-foot truck about with a fridge powered by a diesel internal combustion engine,” Brian Beattie, McCulla operations director, reflected in a news release.
The Ecogen onboard power generator is fitted to tractor, effectively transforming an existing diesel-powered TRU to run on electricity during transit. Ecogen can be retrofitted to any tractor unit with an engine power take-off, Hultsteins said. It generates 400 volts, and easily connects to the TRU motor via a five-pin plug.
In addition to adapting TRUs to emission-free power, Hultsteins’ Ecogen system is a cost-effective method for operators to switch to clean and sustainable transport refrigeration. “We’re now able to provide our customer with an extremely low-carbon CNG vehicle and fridge trailer with zero emissions—because it’s powered by the compressor on the truck,” Beattie added.