RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers

May 14, 2018

Lower-emission tractor-trailers could soon be making their way onto roads across the country.

eNow, A Rhode Island-based company, has developed a new solar-powered refrigeration system for 53-foot trailers transporting food.

"Even though (the trucking industry) only represents I think it’s about 7 to 9 percent of all vehicles on the roads, it’s generating over 20 percent of all vehicle emissions," Jeff Flath, CEO of eNow, said.

The traditional way to cool trailers is with diesel fuel. 

Guy Shaffer, chief marketing officer at eNow, says an early study of the technology shows it has a big impact on harmful emissions.

"It reduces nitrous oxide by 98 percent, CO2 by 86 percent and particulate matter by 97 percent over diesel," Shaffer said. 

Shaffer added, today, there are more than a half a million diesel-powered refrigerated trailers on the roads across the country and about 80,000 new refrigerated trucks come online every year. 

eNow estimates its solar refrigeration system could save thousands of dollars a year on truck fuel and maintenance. 

C&S Wholesale, a national, New Hampshire-based grocery distributor, plans to try out the technology this summer.