Gist Limited, a division of The Linde Group, is running the first fleet of six eco-friendly FROSTCRUISE® vehicles in the UK, on daily delivery routes to Marks & Spencer and Starbucks retail stores.
Developed by BOC, a member of The Linde Group, FROSTCRUISE is a highly innovative in-transit refrigeration system that provides a significantly more environmentally friendly, efficient and reliable cryogenic alternative to diesel-powered mechanical refrigeration.
Environmental benefits of FROSTCRUISE include a significantly lower carbon footprint and zero emissions (particulate, NOx and CO2) at the point of delivery. Carbon emissions from the FROSTCRUISE refrigeration unit are zero compared with over 63 kg per day for an equivalent diesel-mechanical unit on a like for like basis.
FROSTCRUISE has been awarded the Noise Abatement Society’s quiet delivery certificate. With near silent operation, the truck can used for deliveries 24/7, even in urban areas where laws often limit noise to 60–65 dB between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am – a level which diesel-operated refrigeration systems are unable to reach without extensive acoustic insulation packages.
FROSTCRUISE is effectively an on–demand refrigeration system, using liquid nitrogen at -196°C to indirectly chill the truck compartment, delivering exceptionally fast temperature cool-down and ensuring accurate temperature control for the highest levels of food quality and safety.
Trials conducted by the development team demonstrated that FROSTCRUISE could reduce the compartment temperature from 16°C to 2°C within eight minutes, less than half the time of a mechanical refrigeration system.
FROSTCRUISE also has the ability to maintain accurate product temperatures throughout the compartment despite multiple delivery stops.
Existing diesel-mechanical refrigeration systems often require drivers to leave their engines running while dropping off goods or after off-loading. In some operations, drivers also have to restock stores during the evening and leaving the engine running can result in nuisance from noise and emissions in urban environments. In contrast, as the FROSTCRUISE system is not reliant on the truck engine running to maintain the cooling process, the load will remain chilled to the correct temperature in the event of the vehicle engine requiring to be switched off.
The FROSTCRUISE refrigeration system operates at around 97% thermal efficiency, meaning virtually all the available refrigeration capacity of the liquid nitrogen is usefully used with as little as 3% escaping to the atmosphere.