Zero Emission Refrigerated Operations (ZERO)


Project Brief

This project – Zero Emission Refrigerated Operations (ZERO) – is a collaboration between Sunswap and Cenex to develop a novel and bespoke electrical architecture for a solar & battery powered Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU). Cenex will compile energy and operational requirements from customers and feed these into the development process which in turn enables Sunswap to develop a TRU bespoke electrical system that meets real customer operational requirements. The project will run from October 2020 to June 2021.


  • To capture the operational and energy requirements from refrigerated transport operators via the Customer Requirements Group (CRG)
  • To develop a techno-economic model of refrigerated fleets using the inputs from the CRG to calculate the system optimal specifications, operational conditions and customers
  • To calculate the ‘cradle-to-grave’ emissions of the system including manufacturing, in-use and end of life phases via a life cycle assessment (LCA) and compare it to traditional diesel TRUs
  • To design and test a TRU bespoke electrical sub-system developed to TRL4 ready to be integrated with the existing Sunswap TRU


  • Two CRG workshops: in January 2021 (to capture operational requirements) and June 2021 (to validate the business and environmental case)
  • Two public reports: a brief ‘TRU insights’ visual report in January 2021 and the full project report in June 2021 detailing the economic and environmental evaluation of the product
  • A public dissemination webinar in June 2021
  • A tested prototype of the electrical system architecture able to meet the technical requirements of the product