A new delivery fleet currently being trialled by Starbucks and Marks & Spencer could reduce refrigeration emissions by almost a fifth, it has been claimed.
The new Frostcruise vehicles - developed by Linde - feature cooling systems which pipe liquid nitrogen stored in an on-board tank. The substance is stored at -196°C and piped through a heat exchanger with a large surface area, which causes it to evaporate.
High-velocity fans then circulate the cold air around the vehicle's container, and Linde claims this method can reduce the interior temperature from 16°C to 2°C within just eight minutes. The system can also be run while the vehicle's engine is not running, thereby saving fuel.
"Trialling new, innovative technologies like Frostcruise is an important part of Plan A. We've achieved a great deal in reducing emissions and road miles but we can and will do more," said Marks & Spencer logistics manager Anthony Whitehouse.
The Frostcruise system also operates at approximately 97 per cent thermal efficiency, capturing almost all of the liquid nitrogen's available refrigeration capacity.