DENSO develops lighter refrigeration system

July 6, 2012

DENSO Corp. has developed a refrigerator system for light-duty hybrid trucks that helps improve fuel efficiency while maintaining low-level freezer/refrigerator temperatures when the vehicle is idling at a stop light or in other traffic situations.

Here's how it works. In addition to a conventional compressor driven by the engine via a belt, the new system uses an electric compressor powered by the battery unit of the hybrid vehicle. These two compressors are designed to automatically switch from one to the other while the engine is running or stopped -- the conventional compressor is driven during engine operation, and the electric compressor is used during engine stop.

The new system is also approximately 25% lighter compared to DENSO's previous refrigerator system, which uses electricity supplied by external power units to keep the freezer/refrigerator temperature level low when the engine is stopped for a long period of time.

The external power supply unit of conventional systems is relatively large and heavy, because it consists of a motor, a motor-driven compressor and a power-supply device for voltage conversion and other applications. In contrast, the new refrigerator system, which uses a built-in electric compressor when connected to an external power source, does not require a motor or motor-driven compressor, which is why it is considerably smaller and lighter compared to a conventional system.

DENSO’s new refrigeration system was introduced in Japan on July 6, 2012. The new system will be on the Toyota Dyna and Toyoace and the Hino Dutro. DENSO will make the new refrigeration system available for a greater number of vehicle models and for electric delivery trucks in the future.

DENSO recorded net income of 89.3 billion yen on net sales of more than 3.1 trillion yen for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more on DENSO's latest financial results, click here.

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