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Using waste heat to power truck fridges

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada: Simon Fraser University researcher Majid Bahrami is leadiong a research team devising a method to turn waste heat from engines and brakes into air conditioning and refrigeration for service vehicles.

The team has $4.5m including $2.9m from Automotive Partnership Canada.  Bahrami has research partnerdships with the University of Waterloo’s Amir Khajepour, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Mechatronics Vehicle Systems, and three companies: Cool-It Hiway Services and Saputo Dairy Products in British Columbia and CrossChasm Technologies in Ontario.

The sustainable fridge system will use the process of adsorption, which has a myriad of environmental advantages, such as using benign refrigerants and porous materials like water, ethanol and silica gels.

An adsorption system also has low energy requirements and no green house gas or carbon dioxide emissions, does not generate noise, and requires minimal maintenance. The Automotive Partnership Canada program, which invests in large automotive research collaborations, has committed $2.9m to the four-year project. Industry partners are contributing $1.1m in cash and in-kind services, and BC Knowledge Development Fund and the Ontario Research Fund are contributing $500,000.