Fuel savings by using better-quality insulation in refrigerating vans

Keywords: refrigerated vans, mechanical refrigeration unit, fuel consumption, fuel economy, thermal insulation


An additional attention must be payed to the energy efficiency of refrigerated vans transporting perishable foodstuffs, because inefficient operation of refrigeration units installed on these vehicles increases fuel consumption and exhaust gases emissions. The amount of fuel consumed by mechanical refrigeration unit drive can be reduced in many ways. This paper is analysing the impact of thermal insulation quality on the fuel consumed by mechanical refrigeration unit installed on a typical van. The results of the research show that by choosing heavy thermal insulation around € 420 can be saved annually on fuel consumed by mechanical refrigeration unit driven by vehicle's engine while transporting deeply frozen fish at -20 °C. If the van is transporting raw meet at 0 °C annual savings can be around € 110. The analysis is done for the mean monthly temperatures in Belgrade, Serbia and the price of each type of insulation and fuel in Serbia.


Blagojević, I., Vorotović, G., Ivanović, G., Janković, S. & Popović, V. (2013). Energy efficiency improvement by gear shifting optimization. Thermal Science, 17(1), 99-105. doi.org/10.2298/TSCI120129035B
Estrada-Flores, S., & Eddy, A. (2006). Thermal performance indicators for refrigerated road vehicles. International Journal of Refrigeration, 29(6), 889-898. doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrefrig.2006.01.012
Glouannec, P., Michel, B., Delamarre, G., & Grohens, Y. (2014). Experimental and numerical study of heat transfer across insulation wall of a refrigerated integral panel van. Applied Thermal Engineering, 73(1), 196-206. doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2014.07.044
Government of the Czech Republic. (2008). Fuel consumption measurement method for vehicle-powered refrigeration units based on the concept of a standard vehicle engine / transmitted by the Government of the Czech Republic. Retrieved from https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/633866
Jovanović, B., Popović, V., Stamenković, D. (2018, May). Good distribution practice requirements for vehicles intended for transport of time and temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products. Paper presented at the Maintenance Forum 2018, Belgrade. Retrieved from http://www.maintenanceforum.net/cp2018/papers/85-88%20B_Jovanovic.pdf
National Resources Canada. (2014). Learn the facts: Fuel consumption and CO2 Retrieved from https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/oee/pdf/transportation/fuel-efficient-technologies/autosmart_factsheet_6_e.pdf
Tassou, S.A., De-Lille, G., Ge, Y.T. (2009). Food transport refrigeration - Approaches to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts of road transport. Applied Thermal Engineering, 29(8-9), 1467-1477. doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2008.06.027
Time and Date AS. (2020). Annual Weather Averages in Belgrade 2005-2015. Retrieved from https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/serbia/belgrade/climate
Zakharov, D., Magaril, E., & Kozlov, P. (2017). Reducing the energy consumption and increasing the efficiency of perishable goods transportation by refrigerated vehicles on urban routes. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 12(7), 1192-1202. doi.org/10.2495/SDP-V12-N7-1192-1202
Original Scientific Paper