New 100% Solar-Electric Refrigeration Systems
New eNow Solar-Electric Refrigeration Systems for reefer trailers cut operating costs by over 50% compared to diesel reefers. eNow’s proprietary technology replaces a standard diesel reefer with a 100% solar-electric reefer system. And zero diesel means zero emissions. The powerful eNow solar system charges a battery pack to maintain optimal zero-degree temperatures throughout a typical 8 to 10-hour delivery run.
Watch video about eNow’s first solar-RTU (refrigerated transport unit) for Challenge Dairy in California. Click to play video.
eNow 100% solar-electric, diesel-free refrigeration systems:
Deliver 50% savings compared to diesel
Use 100% renewable solar power to charge battery by day
Use partially-renewable shore power to recharge at night
Are compatible with reefer trailers of all makes
Since 1940, trucks with diesel-powered refrigeration systems (reefers) have been the primary method used to transport perishable goods. However, the cost to operate a diesel reefer system on a 10-hour route averages about $45 per day, or nearly $17,000 per year. Annual reefer fuel consumption also averages more than 3,700 gallons per vehicle, and annual operating and maintenance costs for U.S. reefer fleets total hundreds of millions of dollars. With today’s unstable fuel prices, rising labor costs and increased anti-idling regulations – continued use of antiquated diesel reefer technology has become unsustainable.
The eNow Solution
In 2017, eNow developed a solar-electric powered refrigeration system branded Rayfrigeration – the first zero-emissions, Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) on a truck making deliveries in an urban environment. A 24-foot, straight truck owned by Challenge Dairy was beta tested during the heat of the summer in California’s San Joaquin Valley. eNow’s revolutionary system exceeded all expectations – in both emissions reduction and operating cost savings. Click to play video.
Shortly thereafter, eNow developed the first solar-electric refrigerated system for 53-foot trailers. Although still in the testing phase, its technology promises to deliver significant operating cost savings compared to diesel reefer systems – and eliminate 100% of emissions from the diesel alternative.
How it Works
During the Challenge Dairy test in the San Joaquin Valley, eNow’s Class 7 truck was plugged into shore power at night. During this time its cold plate reefer system recharged, and the battery bank was topped off. The next morning, loaded with dairy products and on route for an average of 7.7 hours per day, the reefer system ran entirely on its solar system and battery pack – even with ambient temperatures up to 110 degrees. In fact, when the truck returned to the distribution center, often the batteries were just as full as when they left, and they did not lose a single delivery. All with zero-emissions, smoke, and noise.
On eNow’s medium-temp, 53-foot trailer, the solar system, and its Lithium-ion battery pack power an all-electric refrigeration system. During the trailer’s 8 to 10-hour delivery run, the reefer system runs off the battery pack. The battery charge is maintained and optimized all day by the eNow solar system located on the trailer’s roof and generating over 4kW. Overnight, while back at the distribution center, the electric reefer system is plugged into shore power to top-off the batteries and keep the trailer’s interior temperature at an even 33°F. Again, this is accomplished without burning diesel fuel or generating smoke and noise.
In the Challenge Dairy test, the eNow system achieved emission reductions of 98% in nitrous oxide, 86% in carbon dioxide, and 97% in particulate matter. It is also projected to reduce operating and maintenance costs by up to 90% over a diesel-powered TRU – by eliminating fuel and maintenance costs, increasing battery life and reducing replacement costs. – thanks to consistent, optimal charge maintenance by eNow solar systems.
In short, eNow solar-electric reefer systems reduce operating and maintenance costs by:
- Eliminating the fuel and regular maintenance required by a diesel reefer system
- Extending the life of the trailer by 3-4 years (because electric reefers have a longer average asset life than diesel reefers)
- Helping avoid penalties due to increasingly stringent government emission regulations
- Providing the opportunity for 26% Federal solar tax credits (as of January 2020)
The ideal eNow solar-electric reefer system for your fleet will depend on truck or trailer size, interior temperature(s), and delivery environment. eNow solar modules lead the industry in size and efficiency, so they can handle the power loads demanded by refrigeration. Please contact us to learn more and discuss your fleet’s applications.