31 August 2023
Dairy company Müller Milk & Ingredients is testing whether solar panels and kinetic energy can power its refrigerated HGV trailers, as an alternative to refrigeration powered by diesel engines.
Müller, in partnership with Sunswap, trialed the delivery of fresh milk using refrigerated trailers that are battery and solar-powered. 100% of the energy required came from free clean energy collected by the solar panels.
In collaboration with Carrier Transicold, the business is also testing a refrigerated trailer system powered by kinetic energy. The Carrier Transicold Vector eCool converts energy generated by the trailer axle and brakes into electricity, which is then stored in a battery pack to power the refrigeration unit.
The trials aim to establish whether renewable energy solutions with a lower carbon footprint allow the business to maintain its quality and service levels, which sit above 99% in 2023.
Per trailer, the solar and battery-powered Sunswap system would eliminate all diesel, saving 3,700 litres and 9 tonnes of carbon every year. Carrier’s Vector eCool system would eliminate all carbon emissions associated with traditional refrigeration units operating with an auxiliary engine.
Following completion of the trials, the business will consider further testing or a wider rollout throughout its network.
Dan Hamby, Head of Distribution at Müller Milk & Ingredients, said: “Customers and shoppers expect us to look for ways to reduce carbon whilst maintaining our industry leading levels of product quality and customer service.
“With each trailer capable of transporting 8,000 bottles of milk, we have to maintain the correct temperature and make sure we hit the delivery windows to meet our customer obligations. Our approach is to test, learn and introduce innovation which is sustainable and scalable.
“We are unique in that the vast majority of our logistics operations are in-house, giving us the ability to work with our customers, and throughout the supply, to find the right solutions. As we look to deliver a better dairy future, we will continually innovate to reduce our impact.”