Refrigerated trucks might soon be equipped with a new clean technology that could replace the diesel-burning cooling system with fuel cells and reduce significantly the amount of emissions. Thanks to engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), delivering fresh produce and frozen foods could finally become much more environmentally friendly.
The team developed fuel cells, which use a combination of hydrogen and air in order to create energy and release water instead of carbon dioxide.
Of course, knowing the high price of hydrogen fuel cells, many might simply overlook this news. But according to Kriston Brooks, one of the developers, a team of researchers is now working continuously to make the cells affordable to companies. In addition, the guys will ensure that the system will have all necessary safety panels required by the Department of Energy, so that no one has anything to worry about.
Brooks points out that currently, a cooling system, which includes the fuel cells and the cooling container, costs around $40,000, but according to predictions the cost will drop significantly by 2017.
The initial testing of the equipment will take place on the road between California, Texas and New York. The track has been carefully selected, so that the durability of the fuel cells is assessed properly and carefully. According to Brooks, the most important part of the test is to ensure that the fuel cells work effectively during the hot summer days.
Hydrogen fuel cells are already being used to power various facilities, and are currently being tested to power buses, cars and carts at airports. Considering that there are around 300,000 trucks that are fitted with cooling systems powered by diesel engines, the implementation of their technology might cut down emissions and save as much as 10 gallons of fuel a day.