Fowler Welch introduces kinetic energy recovery reefer

Fowler Welch is using a new eco trailer that uses kinetic energy recovery to power the vehicle’s refrigeration unit.

The operator worked with International Refrigeration Cooling and Thermo King on the design of the new trailer, which it said emits 50% less CO2 than a standard one.

It does this by storing previously lost energy generated from the trailer axle to power the refrigeration unit.

Fowler Welch expects the trailer, which is operating out of its Spalding, Linconshire depot, to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 14,000kg per year.

Nick Hay, CEO of Fowler Welch, said it was an important step for the company to introduce the first operational ACS (auxiliary charging system) trailer to the UK supply chain industry.

“Listening to the needs of our customers, many of whom cite environmental targets as a major influencer on their supply chain operation, we are looking forward to seeing how the new eco trailer can help to deliver these targets,” he added.

The new ACS system converts kinetic energy from the wheels to generate electrical power, which allows the refrigeration unit to run while the vehicle is in motion. It also charges in-built batteries from as little as 5-7mph allowing up to 90 minutes of stationary power before the hybrid motor kicks in.

An added benefit of the new system is its quiet running, which is opening up delivery opportunities in noise-restricted zones.

Paul Allera, head of fleet at Fowler Welch, said: “The new trailer enables us to manage deliveries in areas with noise restrictions by negating the use of the unit’s diesel engine to power the trailer and decreases the volume of fuel needed, helping us to reduce CO2 emissions and operating costs.”

Steve Williams, UK sales manager at Thermo King, added: “By participating in innovative projects like this, using our high efficiency SLXe 50 Spectrum S3 trailer unit with the next generation, low global warming potential refrigerant, R452A, we aim to help our customers reduce their environmental footprint and total cost of ownership.”