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Chereau’s the ROAD Hydrogen Refrigerated Semi-Trailer Hits the Road

By July 8, 2019 3   min read  (534 words)

July 8, 2019 |

chereau road

In a World premiere. On 4 July 2019, the keys to the ROAD vehicle, the first hydrogen refrigerated semi-trailer, were delivered to its Ducey site. 

The Road Project is now entering its final stage, testing in real conditions. The trailer refueled at the Saint-Lô hydrogen station and then went on its way.

This is the final phase of a larger-scale three year €5.5m project.

Chereau said: “We would like to thank once again all our partners who have contributed to the realization of this major project, which paves the way for a new era in refrigerated transport.”

Chereau’s Road project also has two objectives: reduce the environmental impact and improve the operating conditions in terms of ergonomics and safety.

Chereau 1

About the Project

To support its innovation policy, CHEREAU has relied on the technological expertise of the ARTS Carnot Institute to support it in its project to develop a new generation of refrigerated semi-trailers that meet the requirements of the carriers.

Business and innovation

For more than 60 years, CHEREAU has been the first European manufacturer entirely dedicated to the design and manufacture of refrigerated truck bodies. Recognized for the high quality, longevity and first-rate performance of its products, CHEREAU is characterized by a policy of permanent innovation and customized vehicles, serving the most demanding carriers.

The challenge 

Refrigerated transport is an essential link in the cold chain, with strong technical and regulatory requirements. The objective of the Refrigerated Optimized Advanced Design (ROAD) project is to develop a new generation of cold chain refrigeration semi-trailers with higher performance technologies, reducing its environmental impact (noise and gas emissions), while improving operating conditions (safety and ergonomics). The three-year project began in September 2016 and is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2019.
The ROAD project partners collaborated on seven complementary technological bricks:

  • Lightening : chassis weight gain through new design and multi-material technologies
  • Aerodynamics : improved semitrailer design for better air penetration and reduced fuel consumption
  • Thermal insulation : new generation of materials with very high thermal performance for the bodywork
  • Energy : clean energy production thanks to an onboard hydrogen fuel cell
  • Production of clean cold : electric refrigeration unit operating with CO2 refrigerant
  • Mechanical and electrical architecture : integration of new components and optimization of the management of electrical and mechanical equipment (reduction of energy consumption, better ergonomics and new security functions)
  • Tests : the concept vehicle will be tested under real conditions of use

The partnership  

CHEREAU was accompanied by AMVALOR, a subsidiary of the National School of Arts and Crafts which carries with it the Carnot Institute ARTS. For example, the Angevin Laboratory of Mechanics, Processes and Innovations (LAMPA) of Arts et Métiers collaborated on three technological bricks: lightening, aerodynamics and thermal insulation.
The on-board instrumentation of a complete vehicle and the tests carried out made it possible to understand the various demands (emergency braking, turns, docking, etc.). The lightening solutions were thus validated, thanks to the use of the numerical model and the test data, without altering the robustness of the chassis. The simulation of the thermal activities (decrease of the overall conductivity coefficient) and aerodynamics (reduction of the overall drag) respectively made it possible to maintain a constant temperature within the refrigerating box and to reduce its energy consumption.

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