Container atmosphere control from Carrier Transicold

Syracuse, NY, US: The benefits of Carrier Transicold’s XtendFresh atmosphere control system, which preserves quality and extends shipping distances for perishables shipped in refrigerated containers, is explained in a new video.

The XtendFresh system uses aself-regenerating activated-carbon scrubber to control oxygen and carbon dioxide and remove ethylene, a hormone given off by ripening produce that accelerates ripening if left unchecked.

As oxygen is consumed by ripening produce, automated, on-demand fresh-air ventilation helps maintain the best oxygen level for the specific cargo inside. No other product integral to the container actively manages oxygen and carbon dioxide and removes ethylene, Carrier says.

The process is demonstrated in Carrier Transicold’s XtendFresh video, It is available with French, Portuguese, Spanish and simplified Chinese subtitles.

“This video shows the ingenious engineering that enables the XtendFresh system to achieve some remarkable results,” said Edward Goh, director, marketing, global cntainer refrigeration, Carrier Transicold. “By slowing ripening, the XtendFresh system significantly lengthens the amount of time produce can spend in transit, helping exporters reach new markets through extended shipping distances.”

Using refrigeration to control cargo theft

Athens, Georgia, US:  Cargo theft is a multibillion-dollar industry. But, as some savvy refrigerated fleet managers are discovering, their trailers’ sophisticated refrigeration-control systems not only enhance the efficiency of delivery operations, but also help solve cases of cargo theft with certain options, reports Fleet Equipment Magazine.

“While refrigeration-control software is designed to enhance system performance and fuel efficiency, some features can also provide a surveillance capability to help in instances of theft,” says Mark Fragnito, electronics product manager for Carrier Transicold.

“That capability can aid in investigations and, when combined with telematics, can also provide near-real-time surveillance, potentially stopping thefts from occurring.”

Software applications make it possible to fine-tune refrigeration unit controls for specific cargoes such as perishable fruits and vegetables, packaged frozen goods, meat, poultry or seafood. Variables include tightness of temperature control, air circulation and ventilation.

Sensors help the system respond to changes in conditions outside the trailer, and unit-control software provides multiple ways to balance cooling with operational efficiency for improved fuel economy. Fragnito explains that sensors can track other types of trailer activity that may also provide clues in cases of theft.

Two key software applications, each with their own sensors, come into play. One monitors door openings, and the other monitors refrigeration system fuel levels.

“In normal refrigeration unit operation, a door-monitoring program is designed to electronically signal a refrigeration unit shut down or throttle back the refrigeration system when it detects a trailer door opening,” Fragnito says. “The intent is to avoid icing on the refrigeration unit coil. Smart logic used in programs such as Carrier Transicold’s Door Man application can intelligently determine whether outside conditions warrant shutting down the refrigeration system as a precautionary measure.”

The refrigeration unit control can also keep an electronic log of door openings, which is helpful in documenting arrival times and delivery durations. “However, if door openings occur at unexpected times, say in the middle of a delivery route or when the vehicle is parked for a driver rest break, this could be an indication of suspicious activity that requires further investigation,” Fragnito says.

In cases where cargo theft is discovered after the fact, the log of door openings may be correlated with chronological data and, if the vehicle is equipped with telematics, GPS data to determine likely locations where the theft occurred. Just as door-monitoring software may provide clues to cargo theft, fuel-level sensing systems may help detect instances of diesel stolen from the refrigeration unit fuel tank.

“The purpose of the fuel-level sensing systems is to help prevent the refrigeration system’s tank from being completely emptied, so as to maintain protection of cargo inside the trailer and to avoid a situation where air gets drawn into the system fuel lines, resulting in an accidental system shutdown that would require special service attention for restart,” Fragnito says.

Fuel-level monitoring software can alert drivers to a low-fuel condition and can even turn off the refrigeration unit, if the fuel drops to a critical level.

“The software also monitors the rate of fuel consumption, and that may provide added security in other ways,” Fragnito says. For example, if the software records a sudden loss of fuel along a delivery route, it could be an indication of fuel siphoning. Additionally, fuel consumption tracking and fuel-level sensing may provide added verification of when a driver or fueling service fills the refrigeration unit’s tank. This can be reconciled against receipts to ensure accurate billing.

From a security standpoint, door-opening and fuel-level monitoring capabilities become more powerful tools when telematics capability is added. Telematics capability provides near-real-time remote monitoring of the trailer, which can be combined with geotracking, so dispatchers can be alerted to unscheduled door openings or sudden losses of fuel, as well as the time and location where the events occur.

Today’s trailer refrigeration systems are powerful and efficient cooling machines made smarter than ever with increased use of microprocessors, sensors and various software that enhances control functionality. When it comes to claims involving theft, a trailer refrigeration system could possibly become a key witness in helping fleets identify when and where goods were stolen or even trigger an alert that may prevent the theft from occurring at all.


What do Chinese dumplings have to do with global warming?

New York,US: A New York Times article highlights the refrigeration revolution underway in China – where the cold chain is being built virtually from scratch in some regions – and underlines the huge opportunity for businesses and the potential challenges and pitfalls

Provocatively titled What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do with Global Warming?, the author Nicola Twilley interviews those who have been at the early stages of development and are reaping the rewards; those who those who believe it is all happening too quickly and are concerned at the implications for energy consumption and carbon emissions; and a small but vocal group who think that refrigeration isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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