Brunel University tests BlueSeal air curtains

Uxbridge, UK: Brightec’s BlueSeal air curtains have been tested in a project by the Centre for Sustainable Energy use in food chains at Brunel University.

BlueSeal air curtains are an alternative to PVC strips to reduce heat loss through door openings but do not obstruct vehicle driver vision when entering or leaving.

“We have subjected BlueSeal air curtains to countless tests by customers over the years that have helped us develop the product into what you see today. When we were approached by CSEF [Centre for Sustainable Energy ]to further study the effectiveness of air curtains on maintaining the cold chain we were delighted to put BlueSeal through its paces once more” said Hans Opdam, founder, Brightec.

For the test, CSEF simulated the conditions of a distribution route, opening the trailer doors for 15 minute increments to measure the effect of outside temperatures on the goods being transported. Using a reduced-scale trailer model, fitted with a refrigeration unit and 68 thermocouple sensors, CSEF measured the effect of BlueSeal on the vehicles’ recovery energy (the energy required for cooling equipment to pull down the temperature of the internal air and food products after the door opening to the initial temperature). Furthermore, CSEF used their in-house built Computational Fluid Dynamics model to assess the effect of the BlueSeal air curtain in a full sized 18 tonne truck.

The results show 30% less energy needed to recover the cargo temperature in a small box truck, and a 45% energy saving in an 18 tonne truck model. Through this reduced fuel consumption, BlueSeal significantly reduces diesel usage and, looking towards the future, allows vehicles with limited cold storage capacity, such as full electric cooling or liquid nitrogen cooling, to stay on the road longer and make more deliveries without compromising the integrity of the load.

“Everyone at Brightec is delighted with the results from the CSEF report which also demonstrates quite how energy-demanding it is, if even possible, to keep the cold chain intact during and after the loading and unloading of goods without the help of a climate barrier. BlueSeal provides an elegant solution to this problem and the results have helped to further validate the years of development that we have put into creating the most effective and user-friendly means of achieving this.” said Opdam.

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