New York State Hybrid Electric TRU Demonstration Projects 2009-01-2842
Despite stricter anti-idling regulations issued by government entities, trailer refrigeration units (TRUs) have traditionally been exempt from these rules. However, diesel-operated TRUs are high emitters of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide at rest areas, truck stops, and loading docks and are becoming the focus of recent regulatory activity. Since these units must operate to keep perishable goods at the proper storage temperatures during transport, regulating the emissions from conventional TRUs without a proven alternative to the diesel engine-driven system is not feasible.
The objective of this multi-phase project is to advance the electrical displacement of petroleum fuels currently utilized by the refrigeration transport industry while trailers are stationary at distribution warehouses. Significant efforts were expended to identify and introduce new, highly-efficient hybrid electric TRUs (eTRUs) and develop the supporting infrastructure necessary for the North American market. Combined with conventional TRUs equipped for electric standby capability, this electric technology provides an energy efficient and lower emission alternative for refrigerated transportation trailer units. An integrated, comprehensive advancement of this technology required feasibility assessments, design of electrical infrastructure at the facility, development of an under-trailer wiring system, and incorporation of a loading dock safety connection system. Real-world facility demonstrations of the eTRUs addressed technology feasibility, high voltage and operational safety concerns, power availability issues, fuel/energy use, and net emission reductions.
Results from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and other New York State demonstration projects show significant energy, environmental, and economic benefits. The successful integration of this technology into existing warehouse operations supports the logistics for wide-spread deployment. Ongoing efforts are developing a computer-based energy management system to reduce peak facility electrical demand charges and reliably verifying the use of electric power as required by some proposed regulations. Ultimately, eTRUs and electric standby TRUs can be powered from renewable electric generation and be incorporated into the electrification of the U.S. transportation system to reduce emissions, operating costs, and overall energy consumption.