Dole Food Company has ordered 500 energy-efficient Star Cool reefer units from Maersk Container Industry (MCI), which, in co-operation with the leasing company Textainer, is expected to deliver the boxes in January 2021.
The units will be enhanced with Star Cool’s smart fresh air control system AV+, a solution that reduces energy consumption. Star Cool units can control the speed of the reefer compressor to match the specific cooling demands of the cargo and therefore perform at the highest level of both precision and energy efficiency, according to a MCI statement.
Dole will pick up the new reefers with their own container vessel newbuilding Dole Maya from the port of Qingdao in China.
"Star Cool’s automatic ventilation system (AV+) allows the units to control fresh air intake by a preselected maximum level of CO2 inside the reefer," explained MCI in its announcement and went on to add, "This fresh air control mode further reduces energy consumption and the related carbon footprint. Regulating the amount of ambient air entering the container reduces the need to cool down warm air and reduces the risk of ingress of harmful external gasses."
AV+ was designed to maximise cargo freshness of delicate bananas and other fresh fruit, as vessels traverse the tropics while optimising energy efficiency. On a warm day, it would be counterproductive to drive a car with the air conditioning on and the windows open. In layman’s terms, the logic behind AV+ is similar.