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Super Therm® Reduces Fuel Costs in Refrigerated Trucks Print E-mail

Super Therm® provides effective insulation for refrigerated trucks.

Super Therm® is a roof coating that contains four unique ceramics. The ceramic makeup of Super Therm® gives it an insulation equivalent to R-19 (6-8 inches of traditional batt insulation). Super Therm® is a non-conductive ceramic coating that repels 99.5 percent of long-wave energy, 92.0 percent of short-wave energy and 99.0 percent ultraviolet.

The test began in July 2002. Super Therm® roof coating was applied to five multi-temp reefers in Tolleson, AZ. This facility was chosen due to the extreme amount of radiant heat that refrigerated units were exposed to daily, on mostly a year-round basis.

The "Control Group" consisted of five multi-temp trailers with traditional aluminum roofs. A third group of trailers, five multi-temp trailers coated with the trailer manufacturer's proprietary heat-resistant composite roof, was included in the test as well. All 15 units were 2001 model year and manufactured to identical build specifications, with the exception of the addition of the heat-resistant composite roof by the manufacturer.

The primary area of focus for this test was on fuel economy; would the Super Therm® coated reefers burn less fuel than the control group and even the group with the heat-resistant composite roofing system. In addition, would the difference in fuel consumed justify the cost of the product?

In July, the Super Therm® coated units burned 30 percent less fuel than the "control" units and 20 percent less than the manufacturers' heat-resistant composite units. On an annual basis, this resulted in decreased fuel consumption of 1,039 gallons and 463 gallons respectively. At $1.10 per gallon, the cost savings were $1,143 and $509 per unit.

In October, the Super Therm® units burned 27 percent less fuel than the "control" units and 22 percent less fuel than the manufacturers' heat-resistant composite roofing system units. On an annualized basis, this resulted in decreased fuel consumption of 599 gallons and 435 gallons respectively. At $1.10 US per gallon, the cost savings were $659 and $479 per unit. Per our test, we can expect that savings would be highest in the summer months, lowest in the winter months and average in fall and spring months.

With product cost and installation cost considered, a payback could be expected of less than one year. These savings estimates do not include maintenance savings which would likely result from the refrigeration unit running less hours, or running a higher percent of hours in low speed versus high. This would, in theory, also extend the life of the refrigeration unit. In addition, savings associated with a decrease in labor that would result from fueling the reefers less often is not included in the cost savings.