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Carrier Transicold reefer unit uses CO2 as refrigerant

   Carrier Transicold said Tuesday it’s making commercially available a refrigeration unit for ocean containers it calls NaturaLINE, which uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant instead of fluorocarbons.
   “Throughout all of its sea trials, NaturaLINE demonstrated itself to
be an outstanding performer,” said David Appel, president of Carrier
Transicold. “Through the use of CO2 as a refrigerant, it makes history with the
best environmental profile of any container refrigeration unit in terms
of lifetime carbon emissions.”
   The company said NaturaLINE’s power consumption and operating cost compares closely
with its PrimeLINE unit, the current industry leader. The new units are expected to sell at a premium over current models.
   Since the unit was made commercially available this week, Carrier Transicold said it does not yet have any orders to announce.
   Carrier Transicold said its NaturaLINE container unit is the world’s first and only container refrigeration system to use CO2, with a global warming potential (GWP) of one. The company explained this is 1,400 to 3,900 times lower than that of synthetic refrigerants used in
refrigerated containers today. The most commonly used refrigerant is R134A or 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane. Global warming potential is a relative measure of how much heat a “greenhouse gas” traps in the atmosphere.
   Carbon dioxide cannot be used in existing refrigeration units; the NaturaLine unts are specially designed to use CO2 as a refrigerant.
   “The unique properties of CO2 as a refrigerant creates special challenges when it comes to energy consumption,” said Kartik Kumar, director of marketing and strategic planning for global container refrigeration at Carrier Transicold. “The NaturaLINE system handles the necessary gas phase and pressure changes and does so energy efficiently, achieving a tremendous environmental profile. As a result, lifetime carbon emissions are reduced by as much as a 35 percent compared to previous units using synthetic refrigerant.”
   Carrier Transicold also said Tuesday it’s offering the QUESTII power-saving mode for its container refrigeration units, giving liner carriers a means to reduce energy required for refrigeration by up to 65 percent while reducing emissions related to power generation. QUEST II is a special control software designed for use with perishable cargoes, helping improve refrigerated container shipping by reducing costs associated with onboard energy production and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. It was developed jointly by Carrier Transicold; Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean carrier; and Netherlands-based Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research.
   Carrier Transicold said by implementing QUEST II throughout its refrigerated container operations, Maersk anticipates a 350,000-metric-ton reduction in its annual CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions, an amount comparable to the CO2e emissions of cars driving two billion kilometers (1.2 billion miles). The reduced power loads enabled by QUEST II also allow Maersk’s vessels to accommodate more refrigerated boxes than before.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.