Electric heavy semi-trucks have gotten a lot of attention lately. Examples of battery-powered over-the-road trucks from companies like Tesla, Freightliner, Volvo, and Nikola grab headlines as the idea of zero-emission shipping of goods has taken hold. Building battery-powered trucks are not the only way that the transport industry can reduce its CO2 emissions.
Carrier, a global leader in cooling and refrigeration technologies is expanding its electrification capabilities through a new alliance with ConMet—the goal is to add a wheel-based power generation system to refrigerated trailers to capture the energy that otherwise would be wasted during braking events. The electrical energy generated is stored in a battery and used to power the trailer refrigeration system without producing any CO2 emissions.
"Teaming with ConMet allows Carrier to deliver more sustainable solutions to its customers, helping companies green their fleets and supporting their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goals," said Tim White, President, Refrigeration, Carrier in a company news release. "By the end of this year, we will have electric options for customers in trailer, truck, and light commercial vehicle refrigeration applications and new technologies such as this wheel hub power generation solution for trailers that can help further address environmental regulations."
ConMet is a leading global manufacturer of wheel hubs, structural plastic, aluminum casting components, and advanced transport technologies for the commercial vehicle industry. ConMet's eMobility division has developed the PreSet Plus eHub system, an in-wheel electric motor application that repurposes energy from coasting and braking, providing electric solutions for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets. When paired with a Carrier Vector unit, this technology can deliver a zero-emissions transport refrigeration solution.
"We see this alliance as a great strategic fit; Carrier and its customers are in a position to best leverage this electric hub system application and add scale," said John Waters, President, ConMet. "Our technology helps expedite the adoption of clean transport refrigeration solutions that will eliminate the need for diesel fuel engines."
The eHubs can generate a peak of 156 kilowatts (kW) and can be retrofitted on an older trailer or fitted on a new trailer. ConMet says that the modular components suit any trailer configuration and the various battery pack sizes and custom controls can help fleets further optimize energy use.
Carrier says that its ability to reduce its customers' carbon footprint by one gigaton as part of its 2030 ESG Goals is strengthened through this strategic alliance as well as offering customers low Global Warming Potential refrigerants worldwide. Carrier was first to market with an autonomous electric trailer refrigeration system, when it launched the Vector eCool™ in Europe.
The alliance with ConMet advances Carrier's broader zero-emission transport refrigeration solutions, with the availability of electric options for trailer, truck, and light commercial vehicle customers before the end of 2022, and helps to address upcoming emissions regulations.
Kevin Clemens is a Senior Editor with Battery Technology.