KARIYA, Japan ― DENSO Corp. has developed a refrigerator system for light-duty hybrid trucks, which the company says helps improve fuel efficiency while also maintaining low-level freezer/refrigerator temperatures when the vehicle is idling at a stoplight or in other traffic situations.
In addition to a conventional compressor driven by the engine via a belt, the new system uses an electric compressor powered by the battery unit of the hybrid vehicle. These two compressors are designed to automatically switch from one to the other while the engine is running or stopped. The conventional compressor is driven during engine operation, and the electric compressor is used during engine stop.
The new system also is approximately 25 percent* lighter compared to a conventional refrigerator system with external power supply units, which uses external electricity to keep the freezer/refrigerator temperature level low when the engine is stopped for a long period of time. The external power supply unit of conventional systems is relatively large and heavy, according to DENSO, because it consists of a motor, a motor-driven compressor and a power-supply device for voltage conversion and other applications. In contrast, DENSO says the new refrigerator system, which uses the built-in electric compressor when connected to an external power source, does not require a motor or motor-driven compressor, which is why it is considerably smaller and lighter compared to a conventional system.
DENSO’s new refrigeration system was introduced in Japan on July 6 with an annual sales target of 150 units. The new system will be on the Toyota DYNA and TOYOACE and the Hino DUTRO. DENSO says it will make the new refrigeration system available for a greater number of vehicle models and for electric delivery trucks in the future.
* Compared with DENSO’s previous product