Brightec has been leading the way in vehicle climate control for nearly a decade with BlueSeal air curtains. By creating an effective climate barrier, BlueSeal significantly reduces the problem of hot or cold escaping from vehicles during loading and unloading while reducing operating costs from existing cooling/heating equipment. Air curtains have become an essential part of the temperature-controlled supply chain, helping to ensure that products such as food, pharmaceuticals and flowers are kept at the right temperature when maintaining product integrity during multiple deliveries is a critical factor.
BlueSeal air curtains are developed as the result of extensive research, and Brightec are now sharing some of their experiments and research studies online as a series of articles published on their website. The articles include data from various tests the company has performed in collaboration with customers to explore some of their findings surrounding energy efficiency and cold chain management in vehicles.
The aim is to help companies better understand issues surrounding energy loss and how vehicles can benefit from an improved cold chain management. By sharing data from their experiments, it is Brightec’s hope that more companies can work towards sustainable models of transporting temperature-controlled goods.
“Brightec is first and foremost a team of energy-efficiency physicists with a mandate to reduce energy and diesel consumption in vehicles. Currently, many vehicles lack efficiency in controlling their diesel fuel use at great cost to both the operator and the environment as a whole. By greater understanding the science surrounding the causes of energy loss we can find solutions to better manage this.” says Hans Opdam, founder of Brightec.
The articles include findings from experiments examining how the cargo temperature is affected across multiple deliveries. As smaller refrigerated vehicles become increasingly prevalent on the market to ensure low volume/high frequency deliveries, Brightec explores the impact that this has on cooling equipment to restore the cargo temperature over the course of the day.
One of the articles looks into the tests performed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy use in Food chains at Brunel University in which they estimated that a saving of ca. 30% (for smaller box trucks) to ca. 45% (larger trailers) of cooling-energy used by the refrigeration unit is reached using BlueSeal air curtains as a climate barrier.
Other studies include understanding the scale of cooling fuel usage that occurs through ineffective cold chain management and how measures can be put in place to prevent energy loss. There is also a comparative study of PVC curtains and air curtains that explores how the different methods manage cargo temperature during delivery scenarios when repeatedly exposed to outside air.
BlueSeal Air Curtains
BlueSeal has expanded its range over the years to cater for all sizes of refrigerated vehicles and in 2017 BlueSeal Compact was launched, specifically designed for smaller vehicles like refrigerated vans. With a more streamlined design, these units fit above either a rear or side door with a height of only 87mm for minimum obstruction in the cargo area. In recent years they have welcomed various iterations of the air curtain including an integrated shutter-door design (a collaborative project with leading French vehicle builder Lamberet).
By reducing the energy lost through door openings across deliveries, BlueSeal air curtains offer a payback period from as short as 8 months as a result of the cooling fuel saved. Furthermore, by working in harmony with existing refrigeration equipment, the working life of this equipment is greatly extended through demanding less energy to keep goods cool.
Currently, BlueSeal air curtains are featured on vehicles in over 22 countries worldwide with a client list including Gray & Adams, Solomon Commercials, Paneltex, Bidfood, Blakemore, Brakes, Holdsworth Foods and Movianto, as well as major food and pharmaceutical logistics companies throughout Europe.
You can read about Brightec’s in-house and customer tests in more detail by visiting the ‘Insights’ page. If you would like to discuss making the transition to using air curtains in your fleet get in touch with Tom Opdam at +31 (0)20 210 1254 or email [email protected] for further information.