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Can You Plug in a Refrigerated Truck to Maintain the Inside Temperature?

Dec  30,2021
truck reefer unit electric standby mode

Can You Plug in a Refrigerated Truck?

Before answering the question, we need to figure out whether the refrigerated vehicle’s reefer unit is with its own engine and fuel tank. Many times, long-haul refrigerated transport requires a separate unit that has its own little diesel engine. The refrigerating unit attached is self-powered diesel truck unit, working totally independently from the vehicle’s engine.
The vast majority of long haul refrigerated trailers in the world use diesel-powered unit. It is thermostatically controlled and able to constantly keep the high-value loads at ideal temperatures no matter the engine on the trailer is running or not. When vehicle engine isn’t running, you can set the TRU (transport refrigeration unit) to operate continuously, constantly and precisely maintaining proper trailer temperature.
From this point of view, there is no need to plug in your refrigerated trucks as its reefer unit has an individual diesel engine to run the refrigeration compressor, thus controlling the truck’s temperature. Or we can say that such kind of TRU cannot be plugged into an external power source to maintain the internal temperature when parked at truck yard because it has no plugs and connectors.
However, it is not the only option!
TS-1000 integrated standby 4-pin connector

TS-1000 integrated standby 4-pins connector
Thanks to technological advancements in fuel saving, today’s diesel-powered refrigeration systems are with an intelligent electric standby mode. The unit is integrated with an electric standby unit for better fuel performance when parked for loading, unloading or rest. Taking Guchen Thermo TS-1000 diesel-powered refrigeration unit for example, its integrated electric standby system is a standard configuration. That is to say, all our diesel engine powered truck units are factory set with such an option.
You can plug in your refrigerated vehicles to allow the reefer unit operate on electric power in addition to the limited fuel supply in the fuel tank. To a great extend, electric standby saves fuel cost.
TR-550 direct drive refrigeration system 

TR-550 direct drive refrigeration system

Some of you may ask: Is it possible to plug in my truck if the reefer unit is powered by the vehicle’s engine? Or what if my truck is equipped with direct drive refrigeration unit?

The answer is absolutely YES.
Theoretically speaking, vehicle powered truck reefer units are mainly designed for small, and medium-distance refrigerated truck transportation. It may be parked at distribution centers or cold storage warehouses more frequently. Therefore, a plug-in TRU would be a better selection.
As we mentioned above, electric standby system can be integrated into both self-powered units and direct driven ones. With integrated electric standby, the transport refrigeration unit will be more flexible than ever.
But in a direct drive truck refrigeration system, standby is not a standard configuration but an optional function. If you want your truck unit be with standby option, please do let the supplier know your specific requirements, and get the correct configuration before paying.
 tr-550s integrated electric standby

Guchen Thermo TR-550s integrated electric standby

The Benefits of Truck Reefer Unit “Plugging In”

◆ Reducing operating and maintenance cost

Electric standby refrigeration technologies for use in long-haul refrigerated transport significantly reduce the overall fuel consumption of a refrigerated trailer/truck. As the diesel engine runs less, the maintenance costs associated with running a diesel engine reduces, so does the operating cost. It was estimated that Plugging-in your TRU when necessary will reduce operating costs up to 70%, maintenance cost up to 20%.
◆ Eliminating the idling of refrigerated trucks

When plugged into electric power, the truck refrigeration unit keeps working in cool mode to maintain the set point temperature, thereby eliminating the need to operate the vehicle engine (in the case of direct driven refrigeration systems). It potentially eliminates greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the refrigerated truck.
◆Giving the refrigeration units flexible power options

With both diesel mode and optional electric standby mode, the refrigeration systems are compatible with all long-haul trucks to maximize efficiency. It gives the fleet operator more flexibility when running its TRU: 1) connecting the truck to a suitable single-phase/normal three-phase mains power outlet to pre-cool it; 2) running the small separate diesel engine to provide required power to operate the TRU when truck is on the road; 3) plugging into an external electricity source during extended stops.

plugging in your refrigerated truck


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