Vehicle air curtain manufacturer Brightec has welcomed putting its industry leading product BlueSeal to the test in a project by the Centre for Sustainable Energy use in Food chains (CSEF) at Brunel University.
The Netherlands-based family company developed BlueSeal air curtains to save energy required by the cooling machine during distribution rides and to offer an alternative to PVC strips. By identifying that most of the cooling energy is lost through door openings during loading and unloading, Brightec designed a preferred alternative to PVC strip curtains that would not be obstructive to the driver.
“We have subjected BlueSeal air curtains to countless tests by customers over the years that have helped us develop the product into what you see today. When we were approached by CSEF to further study the effectiveness of air curtains on maintaining the cold chain we were delighted to put BlueSeal through its paces once more” said Hans Opdam, Physicist and founder of Brightec.
For the test, CSEF simulated the conditions of a distribution route, opening the trailer doors for 15 minute increments to measure the effect of outside temperatures on the goods being transported. Using a reduced-scale trailer model fitted with a refrigeration unit and 68 thermocouple sensors, CSEF measured the effect of BlueSeal on the vehicles’ recovery energy (the energy required for cooling equipment to pull down the temperature of the internal air and food products after the door opening to the initial temperature). Furthermore, CSEF used their in-house built Computational Fluid Dynamics model to assess the effect of the BlueSeal air curtain in a full sized 18 tonne truck.
The results from the tests met Brightec’s expectations, concluding that use of BlueSeal with an optimal air flow took care of ca. 30% less energy to recover the cargo temperature in a small box truck, and a dramatic energy saving of ca. 45% in their 18 tonne truck model. Through this reduced fuel consumption, BlueSeal significantly reduces Diesel usage and, looking towards the future, allows vehicles with limited cold storage capacity (e.g. full electric cooling, liquid nitrogen cooling etc.) to stay on the road longer and make substantially more deliveries without compromising the integrity of transported goods.
“Everyone at Brightec is delighted with the results from the CSEF report which also demonstrates quite how energy-demanding it is, if even possible, to keep the cold chain intact during and after the loading and unloading of goods without the help of a climate barrier. BlueSeal provides an elegant solution to this problem and the results have helped to further validate the years of development that we have put into creating the most effective and user-friendly means of achieving this.” said Hans.
BlueSeal exports to over 22 countries worldwide as the leading producer of air curtains for commercial vehicles. Brightec operate primarily from their base in Amsterdam, with further manufacturing facilities in Holland. In recent years BlueSeal has attracted an impressive client list including Gray & Adams, Solomon Commercials, Paneltex, Bidfood, Blakemore and Movianto, as well as major food and pharmaceutical logistics companies throughout Europe.
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