British cleantech engineering firm Sunswap announce their new partnership with TIP

Amsterdam –British cleantech engineering firm Sunswap is excited to announce their new partnership with TIP – a renowned trailer leasing company. This summer, Sunswap will be supplying the leasing giant with zero-emission transport refrigeration units (TRU’s) to offer to their customers. Who are fleet operators in the UK (Culina, Tesco, Sainsbury’s). 

TRUs are used across the world, in particular by supermarkets and logistics companies, to transport essential resources such as vaccines and chilled produce. Most of the cold chain logistic industry currently uses diesel systems, emitting millions of tonnes of CO2 a year. The deal with TIP – one of Europe and Canada’s equipment service providers – will see sustainable zero emission Sunswap TRUs on UK roads in 2023.

The new promising innovation for emission-free refrigerated trailers uses solar energy to power the Transport Refrigeration Units (TRU)

TIP Group is pioneering different sustainable solutions for fuelling reefer units in order to enable the industry to become greener and more sustainable. In recent months, the company has launched two major innovations for the industry: the “E-reefer”, using the net to power its battery, and the “AxlePower”, using the reefer’s lost energy as a power source for its refrigeration unit.

To provide additional cost-effective and sustainable transportation solutions to its customers, TIP is now proud to launch the pilot of “Endurance”, a battery and solar-powered Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU).

Trailers will be equipped with Sunswap’s innovative battery and solar-powered refrigeration unit. These units use cutting-edge technology to provide reliable and sustainable cooling, removing the need for traditional diesel-powered refrigeration systems and helping to decarbonize the transportation industry’s cold chain.

The twelve-month pilot will be launched this summer. TIP already pre-ordered 40 battery and solar-powered TRU, with the first entering service in August 2023 for its customers.

Interim results findings will be announced later this year. The system is fully electric and depending on conditions, the solar panels can typically provide 65% to 100% of the charge needed to operate the refrigeration unit. This free green energy considerably reduces reliance on grid charging and costs. This will not only decrease a fleet’s carbon footprint but also provide a reliable source of energy to extend the range of the TRU.

Once the pilot project is completed, the technology could be deployed more widely by TIP, providing a best practice solution for the industry.

An advanced solar panel technology

The purpose of this pilot is to run the reefers completely on electricity during working hours. This innovative system will be tested using electricity from solar panels, which saves fleet operators up to 90% of the operating cost of a diesel refrigerator.

Every component in The Endurance has been designed to use as little power from the battery as possible, without compromising on performance. Another advantage is the adaptive battery capacity, which allows the customer to optimize their drive by only carrying the weight needed.

Fast onboard charges and solar panels mean that the unit can be fully recharged without any additional downtime between routes. Previous trials have shown that a single charge can power the system for:

  • 24 hours at frozen temperatures
    • 2 days at multiple compartment temperatures
    • 3 months at chilled temperatures (using free clean solar energy)

The units are able to complete the same delivery cycles as diesel units without any operational disruption, making the Endurance a promising alternative to diesel fridges.

The expertise of the partners:

TIP has 55 years of expertise in managing reefer trailers which proved to be crucial in this collaboration to create this new type of reefer, that should be easy to operate, maintenance friendly, economically viable and which can be mounted to any trailer brand and type.

Innovations and Sustainability are key pillars for strategic growth and TIP strongly believes that Sunswap brings its expertise in solar and battery engineering for decarbonizing the cold chain.

“Our partnership with Sunswap allows us to offer our customers another sustainable solution for their refrigerated trailer fleet management needs. We are excited to be at the forefront of the industry in implementing green technology to reduce our carbon footprint.”, explains Rogier Laan, Vice President Sales and Marketing at TIP Group.

Sunswap manufactures The Endurance, a battery and solar-powered Transport Refrigeration Unit that is a viable alternative to diesel-powered TRUs. This innovation meets the most challenging route requirements, saves significantly on Total Cost of Ownership and supports a net zero strategy.

Michael Lowe, Sunswap CEO, says “I am excited by how TIP Group and Sunswap can support fleet operators throughout Europe to break their dependence on diesel and transition towards environmentally friendly technology to reach net zero targets. The industry continues to step up and is ready to meet the demand for our tried and tested, cost-effective, sustainable transport refrigeration solution.”

About TIP Group:

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, TIP is one of Europe and Canada’s equipment service providers. The company specialize in lease and rent of road freight and intermodal transport equipment, services such as maintenance and repair, sale of used equipment,and other value-added services, such as digital solutions. The company provide these to transportation and logistics customers from more than 130 locations spread over 18 countries in Europe and Canada.

About Sunswap:

Sunswap is a UK based clean-tech company on a mission to decarbonise the global cold chain with innovative, cost-competitive and zero-emission transport refrigeration. Providing an operational and financially viable alternative to diesel.

Sunswap was founded by a team of engineers with a passion for sustainability and technology. Built on the basis that only a radical change in the way transport refrigeration units (TRUs) are engineered can provide the technological advancements needed to reach net zero. At the core of Sunswap’s design ethos are three main pillars; sustainability, reliability and cost-competitiveness.

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