Dean Foods, Thermo King
unveil vehicle that has
eco-friendly reefer system
Jun 22, 2010 10:12 AM
Dean Foods (NYSE: DF), a leading dairy processor and owner of a large refrigerated direct-store delivery distribution network, has unveiled a delivery vehicle equipped with a new prototype truck refrigeration system developed by Thermo King. This cost-efficient, environmentally sustainable truck refrigeration system reduces emissions associated with traditional diesel-powered transport refrigeration.
The diesel-free, hybrid electric-powered refrigeration technology will help Dean Foods reduce its carbon footprint while creating operational efficiencies and cost savings. The technology also represents a step toward achieving Dean Foods’ commitment to remove 50,000 metric tons of carbon from its transportation system by 2013—the equivalent of removing 9,500 cars from the road.
“The commitment shown by Dean Foods and Thermo King demonstrates how corporations can use innovative technology to drive environmentally sustainable practices that increase business efficiency and have positive economic impacts,” said US Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and Energy & Environment Subcommittee of the Science & Technology Committee. Johnson attended an announcement in Dallas TX about the reduced-emission truck refrigeration technology, held at Dean Foods’ Schepps Dairy processing and distribution plant.
“Our highest priority is reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of our operations,” said Harrald Kroeker, president of Dean Foods’ Fresh Dairy Direct business unit.
The electric-powered refrigeration units replace traditional mechanical models that rely on a separate diesel-powered engine to facilitate cooling while en route, and require oil, filters, and anti-freeze as part of routine maintenance. The new unit reduces emissions and waste by operating on electricity both while parked and while driving, eliminating the need for an independent engine in the refrigeration unit. Additionally, the new unit emits less noise than conventional mechanical refrigeration units.
The prototype truck refrigeration system has already been put into service in Dean Foods’ Dallas-area fleet. It has made daily deliveries from the company’s Oak Farms Dairy facility since March 2010. The company aims to achieve at least a 50% savings in diesel fuel usage compared with traditional refrigerated vehicles by adopting the new technology over the longer-term. Eliminating the diesel used in the refrigeration units of traditional vehicles would remove 21,000 pounds of carbon per vehicle per year and reduce costs. Because Dean Foods typically replaces about 200 delivery trucks each year, innovation such as this is an important step toward substantially decreasing fuel usage and related carbon emissions.
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