Questions About Reefers & Insulation



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How Does a Reefer Cooler Work?

The reefer unit simply removes heat from the inside cargo area and expels to the outside by convection. The insulation of walls, floor & roof prevents warming of the load from outside sources & also keeps the cold inside. Reefervan install high capacity coolers with 25% extra cooling capacity, to handle even the warmest climates in North America.
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Why do I need Insulation?

Good quality insulation is very important, it does not allow heat into the vehicle, and quality insulation of walls, floor and roof prevents this.  Also, warm air enters as deliveries are made & doors opened.  The temperature within the vehicle needs to be cooled and controlled by the reefer unit. Without quality insulation, the refrigeration unit cannot control the temperature within and the cargo will warm up, your products will not reach their destination at the correct temperature. read more



What Thickness of Insulation do I need?

Depending on your local ambient temperature, if a very hot or cold region and the amount of deliveries per day, these factors all determine the insulation thickness necessary.  Reefervan's high specifications, with all our installs, means industry standard 100°F or 38°C and provides 100% x 3 inch insulation as standard. Temperatures of 10°F or -12°C. 

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Is thermal efficiency less with sprayfoam insulation​?

YES. For many years traditional spray foam insulation has been the industry standard. The thermal efficiency of spray foam is generally lower due to the inconsistency of the foam thickness. Insulation thickness can vary from 1 inch to 3 inches, this effects the cooling performance of the reefer.




Does spray foam warp the panels on vans ?

YES. The heat generated by spray foam causes panels to warp out of shape due to the heat and pressure of the foam.  The foam basically twists the steel out of shape leaving an uneven visual warped look to the side of the van.


Today most vans on the market have large panels which warp easy. Reefervan do not spray any foam, therefore, there is no warping with Reefervans modular insulation system.


Is spray foam method heavier & why is this important ?

Reefervan insulation systems do not use wood framing, therefore, the light weight modular lining is 35% lighter than the spray foam method.  With spray foam insulation, a lot of heavy wood is used framing the van, the extra weight reduces the payload of product carried and also increases fuel costs.


Reefervan modular lining systems do not use screws either in the construction thereby reducing the risk of damage to the van wiring or panels of the van when installing.


Can the Reefer Heat in Very Cold Climates?

Standard reefers come with cooling only. However, Reefervan can add additional heating if required. Water heating from the engine or high voltage electric heating can be added to the reefer as an option. For larger vans, Reefervan can install air heaters powered by the fuel of the vehicle. Call Reefervan for more information.




What is Plug In Electric Standby - Shore Power?

Plug-in electric standby or shore power on a reefer unit, allows the reefer to continue operating, on the electric power grid, when the vehicle is stopped and switched off. A separate electric motor and compressor allows the reefer to operate from 110v or 230v, One phase, 60HZ. This option is best suited for applications that require the cargo to be cooled even when vehicle is stationary. This option is best installed at initial purchase, however, Reefervan can add this later if more 


Operating a Reefervan:   TIPS & HINTS


To improve operation efficiency:

  • Pre-chill the cargo area for 15 minutes before loading on very hot days.

  • Switch the reefer unit off while loading product.

  • Minimise the length of time that doors are open when delivering.

  • Product should be stored at the correct temperature before loading.

  • Do not block the evaporator air intake or outlets.

  • Allow space around all sides of the load for air circulation.

  • Check the load temperature regularly.

  • When using power standby check that the mains power supply is suitably rated to power the reefer unit.

  • Switch the vehicle engine off and cab control off before connecting mains power.

  • Avoid using additional extension leads. Maximum length of cable 25 feet



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