It’s no longer just a figure of speech to say container refrigeration systems using natural refrigerants are “on the horizon.” Thanks to new, natural refrigerant technology from Carrier, the world’s first refrigerated containers using environmentally sustainable natural refrigerants have already circled the globe as part of a comprehensive test program. And for 2011, more will enter service through field trials with shipping lines interested in partnering in the development.
“Natural refrigerant technology responds to the shipping industry’s drive for ever more sustainable solutions for refrigerated transport,” said Chiou Fun Sin, Carrier vice president, Global Container Refrigeration. “It harnesses our industry-leading expertise in energy-efficient container refrigeration and compressor technologies as well as our engineering leadership in the use of natural refrigerants for other types of energy-efficient refrigeration applications.”
When evaluating refrigerants to cool the next generation of container refrigeration units, Carrier made the use of refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP) ratings and non-ozone depletion potential (ODP) a top priority. Carbon dioxide (CO2), with a GWP of one and an ODP of zero, is as low as can conceivably be obtained in terms of a pragmatic natural refrigerant. By pursuing a natural refrigerant with a GWP of only one, Carrier set its sights exceptionally high for its new container refrigeration technology. Additionally, the technology had to be energy efficient.
“Improved refrigeration performance and reduced power consumption have been two development drivers in recent years, and Carrier’s PrimeLINE® unit is a great example of delivering on both fronts,” said Kartik Kumar, director of Marketing and Strategic Planning, Global Container Refrigeration.
“We are now taking it a step further by incorporating environmentally sound natural refrigerant technology, coupled with best-in-class energy efficiency, ensuring we live up to the high standards we’ve already set.”
Engineered for Environmental Sustainability
With strong customer interest in refrigerant alternatives, Carrier chose Intermodal 2010 in Amsterdam, the world’s largest container exposition, to announce its natural refrigerant technology and the name of the unit that will use it – NaturaLINE™.
“The name ‘NaturaLINE’ points to Carrier’s 108-year heritage as the ‘natural leader’ in the industry, as well as making the obvious connection to the first use of natural refrigerant in the container industry, and the extension of our product line,” Kumar said.
Carrier’s NaturaLINE development program has been active for more than five years, according to Kumar.
“The marketplace has concerns about potential phase-outs of traditional refrigerants in container applications,” explained Kumar. “Some of this is based on legislation regarding greenhouse gases in other industry sectors – for instance automobile air conditioning systems in Europe.
“At the same time, we have customers who are pursuing more sustainable solutions for many facets of their fleets,” he continued. “NaturaLINE technology can provide a more sustainable pathway for their refrigerated fleets.”
Working with Hapag-Lloyd, Carrier placed its first demonstration unit into service in 2008. Earlier this year, Carrier put two more advanced demonstration units into service with the Hamburg-based line. Performance was carefully monitored as the pair made around-the-world tours, one starting in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey (USA) and the other in Singapore, operating under the most common ambient conditions and using setpoints for perishable and frozen.
As a member of various working and research groups Hapag-Lloyd has always invested in leading-edge technology. The company cooperates closely with industrial partners like Carrier for the development of environmentally sound technologies. Hapag-Lloyd is traditionally interested in researching and testing new technologies, often making it the first shipping line to deploy environmentally sound technologies in everyday operations.
“We are encouraged by the very promising results to date and are now at a point where we are ready to broaden the trial program,” Kumar explained. “Our sense is that many of our customers will be eager to participate in the next stage of our development.”
As a next step, Carrier plans to begin extended field trials in early-2011, using NaturaLINE technology for carefully monitored shipment of goods. Trials are expected to begin in the first quarter, with a second stage of trials being considered for later in 2011.back to top