Solar power to refrigerated rescue

An out-the-box solution from Thermo King has helped a German transport operator improve on-the-road cold chain efficiency

Thermo King, a specialist in temperature control for a variety of transport applications, has provided a large logistics company in Germany with a unique solution for an efficient, reliable and sustainable power supply for its refrigerated trailers.

The company has combined battery-powered generator sets with solar panels to ensure that B&H Logistik’s refrigerated vehicles are always ready to maintain vital cold chain temperatures needed for the transportation of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fresh and frozen foods.

In applying the solution, Thermo King – an Ingersoll Rand company – supplied B&H Logistik with SGCM300 gensets and ThermoLite solar panels. Even in low light, the panels collect enough energy to keep each of the gensets’ batteries fully charged, eliminating the need to use an engine to charge the power source, in the process contributing to reduced fuel consumption and lower CO₂ emissions.

“Reliability of the power supply was paramount for us to guarantee continuity in the cold chain when transporting customers’ containers on the road,” says Boris Hirschhausen, managing director of B&H Logistik.

“In the past we have had issues with discharged batteries on gensets that aren’t used every day, requiring additional maintenance along with costly visits to a workshop to recharge the battery. With the solar panels installed, the problem has been solved,” explains Hirschhausen.

According to Marcus Kallmünzer, branch manager at Transportkühlung Thermo King GmbH, the out-the-box solution has saved B&H Logistik both time and money. “Many emergency situations result from discharged batteries when gensets are used infrequently,” he says. “By installing ThermoLite solar panels we have eliminated that risk – and the customer can now carry out seamless transport operations instead of sending vehicles to the workshop.”

Gulsah Metinoz, Thermo King’s sales manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, says that for companies such as B&H Logistik, it is crucial to have reliable, operation-ready gensets to maintain precise temperature levels inside refrigerated containers. “Even slight variances in temperature during transport can lead to days of reduced shelf life and increased food waste for customers,” he says.

“The combination of genset and solar panels makes the power constantly available and increases operational efficiency and reliability, while also reducing the transporter’s carbon footprint.”

Metinoz adds that Thermo King gensets can also be used as mobile power management solutions beyond marine or transport refrigeration applications, serving as reliable main or supplementary power sources.

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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