Jan 20, 2016: Etihad Cargo and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology launched a new design for a smart, temperature-controlled, sustainable and energy-efficient air cargo container (cool dolly) system. The innovative new system is specifically designed to optimise the transportation of temperature-sensitive cargo, which includes pharmaceuticals, livestock and perishable products that need to be transferred between the aircraft to the storage compartments in the cargo warehouses.
This will provide Etihad Cargo and the Abu Dhabi International Airport a unique competitive advantage over other airports.
The new hybrid cool dolly design incorporates the use of innovative thermoelectric module technologies, modified compressor units, and a custom-made power bank that can be attached to solar panels for sustainable recharging, ensuring that the temperature can be regulated to meet the needs of temperature-sensitive cargo while minimising power consumption.
The announcement was made by Steve Griffiths, vice president of Research, Masdar Institute, and David Kerr, vice president, Etihad Cargo, during the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) taking place in Abu Dhabi between January 18 to 21, 2016.
Griffiths said, “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Etihad Airways in undertaking these research projects aimed at supporting their operations with novel solutions. Our research platform integrates energy and system engineering in a manner that we believe can make a meaningful contribution in transport and logistics operations in the UAE and overseas.”
David Kerr, said, “We are committed to providing our customers with innovative and sustainably-designed cargo solutions, and working with Masdar Institute has helped enormously in developing a specialised temperature controlled dolly that protects sensitive products from the heat and harsh weather conditions we sometimes face here in the UAE.”
Etihad Cargo Innovation Department is also collaborating with Masdar Institute on a number of other related research initiatives. Led by Dr Daniel Choi, Associate Professor, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Masdar Institute, these include adapting new advanced shock protection material for cargo boxes, and testing advanced thermal reduction coatings for Etihad Cargo’s Sky Stables equine transportation service.
At present, many international airports and ground-handling teams around the world employ transportation dollies that are diesel-powered, with energy-intensive cooling units which are expensive to operate and often do not meet all performance requirements.