Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Electric Powered Trailer Refrigeration Units(ST8485-1)

Shurepower, LLC


In the U.S., trailer refrigeration units (TRUs) powered by small diesel engines have traditionally provided the trailer cooling required for transport of fresh and frozen foods. Small diesel engines are notoriously high emitters of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO) pollution. While these pollutants are now regulated, diesel-powered TRUs remain significant contributors to air quality issues in and around truck stops, distribution terminals and to a lesser extent, grocery stores. Hunt’s Point in New York City is a prime case of poor air quality caused by diesel truck idling and diesel TRU operation. The Hunt’s Point Cooperative Market is home to 47 independent wholesale food businesses primarily involved in producing, processing, distributing and selling meat and meat products throughout the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area. This market, located on 60 acres in Bronx, New York, is one of the major facilities in the world's largest wholesale food distribution center. The activity surrounding the Market has also contributed to the poor health of neighboring residents. It has been reported that approximately a third of children living in the area near the Market have been diagnosed with asthma. Diesel emissions have been shown to contribute to an increase in asthma rates in children. Regulations and technology-based idling alternatives help address the truck idling issue, but diesel TRUs continue normal operation without any res

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Project Description

The overall goals of the fourth phase are to design and demonstrate, in a controlled location, the operation of a pre- commercial eTRU Energy Management System (EMS) that will 1. Monitor and control the start up and operational modes (diesel or grid electric power) of individual eTRUs. 2. Provide for setting a maximum power draw for the entire eTRU shorepower system. 3. Minimize the costs associated with eTRUs based on current energy pricing inputs. 4. Reduce electric facility installation costs by “right-sizing” the electrical supply and distribution system. 5. Provide for tracking CO2 reductions and air quality criteria emissions reductions when operating on electricity. 6. Provide for monitoring power supply to the eTRUs, (kWh and kW) and, when available, electrical power flow from the eTRU to the grid, and 7. Provide a method to remotely monitor operation of all the eTRUs via wireless data transmission and internet access. To overcome these barriers, a market and technology assessment was performed in the first phase of this project to determine what the biggest issues facing the implementation of this promising technology were and what could be done to address them in the near term. The eTRU technology was found to face a true “chicken-and-egg” dilemma similar to that faced by many technologies that require some supporting infrastructure. In Phase II, ten eTRU trailers were deployed and supported by power pedestals installed in a parking lot.


According to a survey study by the University of California, Davis, long-haul truck drivers work an average of nearly 300 days per year. Carrier Transicold states that the average TRU consumes about 0.7 gallon of diesel fuel per hour, 24 hours per day when loaded. At this fuel consumption rate, each TRU will consume approximately 5040 gallons of fuel per year. Carrier Transicold estimates about 25,000 TRU are sold each year and approximately 225,000 TRU-equipped refrigerated trailers are in service in the United States today. If all these units were electrified and connected to shorepower a minimum of 10 hours per day, there is a potential to save 472.5 million gallons of fuel annually.

Project Results


Shurepower, LLC
414 Trenton Road Suite 2D
Utica, NY 13502

Principle Investigator

Michael Panich

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Alternative Fuel

NYSERDA Contact Information

Joseph Tario


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8485-1

Last Updated: 9/29/2014