19 Jan 2016 11:00
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and Etihad Cargo, the fast-growing cargo division of Etihad Airways, today jointly announced the launch of a new design for a smart, temperature-controlled, sustainable and energy-efficient air cargo container (cool dolly) system.
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.
As a result of the close collaboration between Masdar
Institute and Etihad Cargo, the innovative new cool dolly 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,
providing 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 Dr. 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 18
and 21 January 2016.
Dr. 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
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.”
From Masdar Institute’s side, the research project is led by
Dr. Sameh El Khatib, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Mohamed Omar, Professor, both
of the Engineering Systems and Management Department, with Dr. Vinod Khadkikar,
Associate Professor of Electrical Power Engineering. A team of researchers at
Masdar Institute, led by Research Engineer Anas Fakhri and consisting of
students – Hamda Al Mazroue, Noura Al Hassani, and Abdulla Al Shehhi – are
handling the technical design and testing of the cool dolly. Pablo Brizzio, one
of Etihad’s senior cargo managers, is working closely with the research team at
Masdar Institute to develop a design that meets the technical requirements and
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.