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Home » How Does A Refrigerated Van Work?

How Does A Refrigerated Van Work?

There are thousands of refrigerated vans on UK roads, carrying out a vital role within the supply chain. They are used for transporting goods that must be kept chilled or frozen. Their main role, aside from getting goods from A to B, is to stop perishable food and consumables, as well as certain liquid medicines, from degrading.

Refrigerated vans have an airtight storage compartment. A condenser removes heat from inside the compartment, bringing it down to cold, freezing, or lower temperatures. A freezer van is insulated from warmth in the outdoor environment and heat created by the truck’s motor, exhaust, and other heat-producing systems.


How Does It Keep Its Temperature

Refrigerated vans maintain the cargo bay’s temperature by using a high-grade of insulation, which is significantly more effective than that used in a household refrigerator. The insulation is much thicker, usually between 50mm and 75mm. The thickness depends on whether the refrigeration truck is for chilling or freezing. The insulation is usually a high-density polymer foam, which has millions of tiny air bubbles that stop the movement of heat.

The chiller van is equipped with a condenser. A condenser is a length of pipe that loops back and forth. The pipe contains a liquid coolant that efficiently absorbs heat. As the coolant warms up, it becomes a gas.

The gas moves along the pipe and eventually arrives at the compressor. The compressor compresses the gas to extreme high-pressure. The evaporator then pulls in air from the outside. It pushes this through the gas, cooling it by allowing the heat to dissipate into the outside environment and returning the gas to a liquid state for recirculation in the system.

The cooling system’s components are powered by the vehicle’s direct driving mechanism and not from mains electricity, as is the case with a residential refrigerator. Where refrigerated vans are expected to remain stationary for a long time, a generator can be added to the truck, or another source can provide electricity.


How Long Do Refrigerated Trucks Last?

Typically, refrigerated vans will last for seven years or more. They are typically fitted out with shelving systems to maximise storage capacity. In most cases, it is possible to create a bespoke shelving system tailored to the needs of the transportation business and the end-client.

The colling system can be fitted on top of refrigerated vans, under the chassis, or under the bonnet. The main truck manufacturers all make this category of trucks, including DAF, Iveco, Scania, Mercedes, and MAN. Cromwell Trucks has models with various payloads, up to 30 tonnes, with short, medium, and long wheelbases.

If you are searching for your next small refrigerated lorry or large rigid freezer truck, check out our stock online. You can give us a call to find out about the best options for your business and details of the trucks that are just in and yet to appear online. 

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