Supplied by cooling technology specialists, Dearman, and its partners, the zero-emission cooling unit replaces the traditional diesel engine used to chill the vehicle and will, says the company, significantly cut emissions.
It’s estimated that during the three-month trial the vehicle will save up to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide; the equivalent of driving over 14,500 km in a modern family car. It will also save 37kg of nitrogen oxides and 2kg of particulate matter, compared to a similar diesel system.
Sainsbury’s is the first in the world to trial the application, which will see the truck operate from its Waltham Point depot, delivering chilled goods to stores in the London area.
Paul Crewe, head of sustainability for Sainsbury’s, said: “As one of Britain’s biggest retailers we really recognise the importance of reducing emissions, which is why we’re working hard to cut carbon emissions by 30% between 2005 and 2020. This trial with Dearman is just one of the innovations we’ve introduced to help us towards this goal. Their zero-emission system is really exciting, to be running a liquid air engine quite literally means our cooling is running on thin air!”
Based on the Dearman Engine, the system harnesses the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver zero-emission power and cooling. Traditionally many refrigerated trucks require two diesel engines, one to power the vehicle and one for the refrigeration unit. By replacing the refrigeration unit engine, Dearman believes that a more sustainable solution for refrigeration may soon be widely adopted on Britain’s roads.
Toby Peters, Dearman’s founder and CEO, said: “Sainsbury’s is demonstrating real leadership by embracing cutting-edge British engineering that delivers performance alongside positive environmental impact. The first commercial deployment of Dearman’s zero-emission transport refrigeration system is a significant milestone for the company, for our technology and for our vision to make the world a cleaner, cooler place.”
Assessment of the success of the trial will be considered, along with operational cost on any potential for roll out of the technology.
The trial is the latest in series of innovations from Sainsbury’s as the retailer works towards its commitment to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 30% between 2005 and 2020. Following trials on the use of CO2 as a natural refrigerant it is now using the technology in three trucks, and earlier this year the company introduced R-452A as a cooling agent in its transport and announced that all new delivery fridges would run on it. R-452A is recognized as cleaner cooling agent and will help reduce emissions by 45% compared to the R404A more commonly used.