With interest in reefer monitoring systems steadily building, remote reefer monitoring specialist RTE has teamed with power distribution system manufacturer ESL Power Systems and developed a power monitoring system that can be integrated with RTE’s GRASP reefer monitoring software.
The unit on display in Panama is a two-gang reefer plug enclosure with a power meter for each plug. The system can be designed for different plug and enclosure configurations, including retrofit applications. Information available through the GRASP software includes voltage and current measurements, power factor data, peak power consumption and other key parameters.
Launching the system President Michael Hellmers outlined how ESL has incorporated power meters into plug enclosures for some customers for specific purposes, including intermittent checks to determine average consumption on which they base daily reefer charges. To date only one terminal in Guatemala and some of the South African ports are known to charge customers for actual reefer power usage.
Whether or not they take this route, terminals can get significant value from real data on reefer power consumption. Maersk Line is now monitoring and controlling its own reefers remotely, and is known to be having robust discussions with terminals over power costs and better managing reefer power consumption. Terminals are likely to want to bring their own data to these types of discussions.
Speaking in the same TECH TOC session Patrick Voemans, Global Business Development Manager at ABB, outlined some of the steps terminals can take to address power costs. With reefer containers accounting for as much as 50% of a terminal’s total electrical consumption, improving reefer management should be one of the first places to start. Together with remote monitoring, measuring reefer power consumption provides the data necessary to achieve more effective management.