Responding to environmental issues
Until now, the refrigerated small utility vehicles (SUV) delivering these products in urban centers have used a conventional refrigeration system that runs on diesel, which requires a lot of energy and is noisy. To respond to these pollution and noise issues, vehicles are gradually shifting to electric motors and must be equipped with new, more sustainable, cleaner cooling solutions.
A team of researchers from Air Liquide, based at the Paris Innovation Campus, has studied this problem with French operational teams and developed a standalone, clean and silent cryogenic refrigeration unit, specially designed for this category of vehicles. The solution, named Cryocity?, uses dry ice, a powerful cold source at -78 °C (or -109 °F). Dry ice is injected in the state of liquid CO2 and changes to solid state in a heat exchanger tank, set up in a cold box on the truck’s ceiling. Thanks to this system, the required temperature is ensured for 10 hours.
Development and benefits of the Cryocity? solution
A prototype has quickly been developed thanks to different expertises within the Group. It has been tested in real conditions with two partners in France: Comptoir du Frais, a distributor of chilled products for restaurants, and Petit Forestier, a refrigerated vehicle rental specialist. The first tests proved very successful and enabled improvements in the device’s performance, particularly for dealing with demanding climate conditions. The Group is therefore continuing development of this solution in order to produce it on a larger scale and meet the needs of a buoyant market. Cryocity? has many benefits, including a 50% reduction in the carbon footprint compared with fossil-fuelled systems, day and night silent deliveries, and improved air quality in cities.