I am sure most of you have seen those frozen and refrigerator vans with the noisy refrigeration units on top do int deliveries. An Indian company has come up with a way of using stored thermal energy to keep the trucks cool for up to 40 hours, without the need for a diesel engine to run the refrigeration unit. It is simply plugged into the grid (or solar panels) to reactivate.
They already have over 200 trucks converted and it saves around 60% in running costs. The unit is totally separate from the engine and only takes 5 hours to recharge. (at about 3 kw). This saves a great deal of fuel and good are not spoiled if the engine breaks down.
Named Thermal Energy Service Solutions Private Limited (TESSOL), the company bagged the award in the ‘Mobility meets Energy Transition’ category for the development of a plug-and-chill system for refrigerated transport of perishables. The cold chain technology is based on patented thermal energy storage technology.
The international jury for the awards chose Tessol because cooling systems can have high impact in increasing the efficiency of food supply worldwide. Tessol, according to the jury, was able to clearly demonstrate the benefits of their technology in reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.
Founder CEO of Tessol Rajat Gupta and product manager Raj Dhami received the award at Berlin on March 20. Tessol and five other start-ups from France, Germany, Bangladesh and Nigeria were selected from more than 500 entries from 66 countries.
Mr. Gupta, an alumnus of IIT, Delhi, and Harvard University, told The Hindu the company’s patented technology permits cold chain vehicles to obviate the use of diesel fuel for refrigeration.
“The refrigeration is based on a heat exchanger using an advanced phase change material (PCM) and is independent of the vehicle’s engine. It is charged from the grid and can be tuned to maintain the temperature from -25 to +15 degree celsius”.
The firm has already customised 200 cold chain vehicles with modular TES units for bakeries, fruit and vegetable vendors, dairy and ice cream manufacturers and e-commerce, food processing, poultry and seafood companies.
Tessol claims that its technology had demonstrated a reduction of 60% to 65% in the operating cost of refrigerated vehicles. Mr. Gupta said the company was working on thermal energy storage solutions for village level pack houses, hybrid system for buses and household airconditioning.