Plug-in hybrid transport refrigeration units made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd. (MHI Thermal Systems), a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group, have received the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Commissioner’s Award (Transportation Field) in the Product & Business Model category of The Energy Conservation Center, Japan’s (ECCJ) 2019 Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards. The awards program is sponsored by ECCJ with support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The refrigeration units were highly acclaimed for their dual achievements in 1) maintaining the temperature inside the cargo room during vehicle parking and stop-start idling, a common issue in refrigerated transport, and 2) reducing CO2 emissions while saving energy. The awards ceremony was held on January 29.
ECCJ’s Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards are presented in recognition of outstanding energy-saving initiatives at businesses or workplaces that should serve as model examples for other companies, or outstanding energy-saving products and business models. The awards program was created to contribute to the formation of an energy-saving society by spreading energy conservation awareness throughout Japan and promoting the adoption of energy-saving products.
MHI Thermal Systems’ award-winning transport refrigeration units are the TE20/TE30 Series of plug-in hybrid systems suited to delivery applications. The Series has been well received since its launch in 2018. It features a hybrid system combining a commercial plug-in power source, a backup battery and an alternator dedicated to the refrigerator. The system automatically switches between plug-in charging, alternator power and battery operation depending on status of vehicle operation (idling, running, parking etc.). Additionally by automatically switching to one of three modes (power save, high efficiency, full capacity), depending on the refrigerator battery’s remaining charge volume and the cargo room temperature, the cargo room temperature is maintained without relying on the driver and energy usage is reduced by 14-54% compared with conventional units. This helps to reduce the driver’s workload, CO2emission and improves energy efficiency. In addition, maintenance has been simplified thanks to adoption of easy-to-handle low-voltage parts: for example, 24V general-purpose devices for conventional vehicles.
With reception of the ECCJ award, MHI Thermal Systems renews its determination to develop technologies and products that will contribute to further CO2 reduction and energy savings. Going forward, the Company will focus on achieving optimal thermal solutions not only in the refrigerated transport field but also in areas that respond to diverse customer needs through its integrated technological strengths derived from synergies realized from the breadth of its business areas: thermal engineering operations targeting higher energy efficiency in plants of all kinds, large-scale refrigeration system operations for large spatial areas, air-conditioning operations that create diverse comfortable spaces, automotive air-conditioners, etc.