The main principle behind it is the removal of heat from the van to the outside. This is achieved with the use of a condenser. The inside of a dry goods panel van, except the driver’s area, is covered with dense polymer foam, making it an insulated area. Once heat is removed from the internal atmosphere, the van unit becomes cold. The insulation stops the cold air from escaping, and warm air from entering. If the condenser is powerful enough, and the insulation material thick enough, the temperature inside the vehicle can be reduced to water freezing temperatures. There are different components needed for the unit of a large fridge van to work.
Thermal insulation : refrigerated vehicles use insulated airtight compartments to preserve temperatures. For successful transportation of goods, proper insulation is essential. The kind of insulation material used has to be thicker and of a higher quality than that used in household fridges, so that the temperature within the van can remain constant despite changing ambient temperatures outside. Thermal insulation reduces heat transfer from outside to the inside of the van. After the condenser has removed the heat from the van, the thermal insulation ensures heat doesn’t come back in, and maintains the cool temperature. Thermal insulation is done with dense polymer foam. The thicker the layer of polymer foam, the higher the insulation level of the truck.
Thermal engineering : If you would like to convert your van into a refrigerated van, Glacier Vehicles will convert it to your satisfaction. Our refrigerated truck conversion process is divided into four parts:
- Styrofoam : Styrofoam is an expanded polymer foam made from polystyrene. The extruded polystyrene foam doesn’t absorb much water, has a high compression rate, and is an excellent thermal insulator. The density of our foam is measured in pounds per cubic foot. Using that measurement, we install 50mm thick insulation when converting a van into a refrigerated van.
- Wood boarding : The next step is to install a wood layer. The wood we use is treated to prevent rot, which is important, since the refrigerated vehicle will transport food and other sensitive cargo. We also use an antibacterial spray and a fungicide that are hygienic and safe.
- Fibreglass-like interior sheeting : We place fibreglass-like interior sheeting in the cargo area. This acts as a keying agent to GRP resin.
- GRP resin interior : To finish the interior, a protective coating of polymer is applied using a wet layer roller. The polymer dries up when it comes into contact with the air, and also fills in any gaps that could have been a breeding ground for bacteria and mould. The result is similar to resin flooring. It is clean and hygienic once it dries.The cooling process in the refrigeration compartment is powered by the engine, using a direct drive mechanism. The engine acts as a power source for the condenser, compressor, and evaporator which enables maximum refrigeration.
Temperature control : Temperature control is achieved by adding the latest technology of high-powered condensers, compressors, and evaporators. The condenser contains a network of pipes and coolant fluid. It draws in air from the interior atmosphere of the truck. When the coolant fluid comes into contact with the air, it turns into gas. The gas circulates through the network of pipes in the condenser, absorbing heat from the incoming pipes. At the end of the network, the gas is transferred to the compressor. The compressor uses a high-pressure mechanism to compress the gas. It pushes all the molecules together. The gas is then moved into the evaporator, which pushes air from the external atmosphere into the high-pressure gas, cooling it in the process and turning it back to liquid. Heat is expelled outside into the external environment. The coolant fluid is reintroduced into the condenser to restart the process. Through this process, temperature control within the refrigerated van is achieved.
Partition walls are also installed to ensure that the cool temperature doesn’t escape to the driver’s cabin, further controlling the interior temperature of the cargo area. The partition walls are also used to create dual compartments in the refrigerated vehicle, enabling you to transport different goods at different temperatures. For example, you can transport both dry and chilled goods in the same transport journey, using different compartments. We can install static or movable partitions depending on your specifications. Glacier Vehicles will convert your truck into a refrigerated van with adequate insulation, proper thermal engineering, and the best temperature-control equipment. To convert your existing van, or to get a new large fridge van, call us on 0208 668 7579 today.