Mission Critical Electronics (MCE) and its subsidiary, Purkeys, announced a system that allows fleets, distribution centers, and trailer manufacturers to safely and easily connect hybrid electric transport refrigeration units (eTRUs) to 480 VAC power, meeting the California Air Resources Board (CARB), zero emission reefer (ZER), and other anti-idling regulations. The system will be sold and serviced through Purkeys.
Called SAFX, the automatic and customizable system is designed with redundant safety features to deliver reliable connection and disconnection of 480 VAC shore power. Once plugged in, the system automatically detects when the cable is connected to the trailer and allows power to flow with the simple touch of a button.
SAFX also eliminates the risk of expensive property damage and high-voltage arcing that can happen from accidental drive-away or unattended live wires. When the vehicle brakes are engaged prior to starting the motor, an exclusive Auto Eject mechanism installed on the trailer instantly ejects the cord, and simultaneously the Auto Safe feature turns off the power, ensuing safety of people, goods, and property. The Auto Eject product uses the IEC standard 4-pin pin-n-sleeve connector, with the connection pins on the trailer automatically protected by a weather-proof cover that snaps into place after cable ejection.
Unique and patent-pending custom cable management options are available to fleets, distribution centers, and other facilities. These options, ranging from manual cable retraction to Auto Reach, will allow fleets to choose the best fit for their needs. These options will retract the power cord back to its original position, preventing potential tripping hazards and related liability issues, as well as avoiding property damage to the trailer and facility during the drive-off maneuver.
“The SAFX system is proven, safe, and reliable,” said Dale Tompkins, president of MCE’s Vehicle Power segment. “Our Auto Eject technology, which forms the core of SAFX system, has an exemplary 25-year track record with more than 250,000 installations at Purkeys’ sister company, MCE’s Kussmaul Electronics, serving emergency vehicle applications such as fire apparatus and ambulances. SAFX is the ideal solution for eTRUs and the array of partners in the ZER ecosystem, including fleets, reefer and trailer OEMs, distribution centers and refrigerated warehouses, truck stops, seaports and intermodal facilities, and grocery stores.”
In 2019, CARB estimated that TRUs within the state were responsible for nearly 900,000 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 7,000 tons of NOx, and 277 tons of toxic diesel particulate matter. New regulations require that TRUs begin the transition to zero-emission technology now as all reefers operating in CARB-states must register with CARB by 2022, and all facilities must complete installation of electric powering infrastructure to support zero-emission reefers (ZER) by 2024.
“TRUs used in transportation within California and the 14 other states that comply with CARB regulations will need to use either electric or hybrid technology when parked for more than 15 minutes. The SAFX system is a worry-free way for fleets, operators, and the ecosystem of ZER partners to access needed power, in a safe and reliable manner,” said Tompkins. “Fleet and facility managers need to start upfitting their eTRUs and facilities now to defensively avoid penalties for non-CARB compliance and to offensively prepare their fleets for the emerging tractor and trailer electrification.”