Hercules’ hybrid reefer
truck designed to run
green—and save green
Jun 2, 2010 10:55 AM
Hercules Manufacturing Company has received five additional orders after a presentation and inspection of its green hybrid vehicle to Prairie Farms Dairy Inc recently.
From the chassis to the refrigerated body, this green Proof of Concept (POC) vehicle is designed to enhance refrigerated transport and preserve the environment.
With an $80,000 investment in R&D and using Eaton Corporation’s hybrid diesel/electric technology, Hercules has developed a green coldplate refrigeration hybrid unit. This advancement will save shippers of refrigerated products an estimated $7,000 plus annually per vehicle in fuel and maintenance costs while being environmentally safe. The truck’s hybrid engine technology could reduce annual CO2 emissions by up to 43,000 pounds per vehicle.
As an all-electric, green, and zero-carbon footprint refrigeration system, the Hercules body combines heating and cooling capabilities with over-the-road power generation in a Direct-Store-Delivery (DSD) vehicle. This refrigeration design replaces onboard generators and/or inverters with a seamless power management module that uses the hybrid chassis battery system during day deliveries and shore power at night. Benefits include reduced emissions, automatic hot gas defrost, fuel usage reduction, better serviceability, greater ROI, noise reduction, and increased driver convenience.
Through re-engineering and newly developed electronic controls, the green truck can use the electricity generated by the hybrid motor to recharge its cold plate refrigeration system on the road, enabling companies to run longer routes since the weight of the refrigeration system has been reduced to improve fuel mileage. It also means the green hybrid truck can go without needing to return and repower the cold plates in its refrigeration system, which lose their cool gradually.
Prairie Farms will put the green hybrid vehicle on the road immediately, where it will be wirelessly monitored 24/7 by Hercules to track its performance. The other five vehicles ordered will go into production upon receipt of hybrid chassis.
“I am hopeful this new engineering breakthrough will return our 108-year-old company full circle to 1930, when Hercules was the first to create a mechanically refrigerated truck body,” said Jeffrey Caddick, Hercules owner and chief executive officer.
To learn more about Carlinville IL-based Prairie Farms, access www.prairiefarmsdairy.com.
Visit www.herculesvanbodies.com for more details on Hercules.
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