Electrification of Transport Refrigeration for Idle Reduction: Technical Assistance Case Study in EPA Region 10

Substantial diesel fuel is burned by idling diesel engines to cool transport refrigeration units on trucks and trailers to keep temperature-controlled cargo at proper temperature while parked at distribution centers, cold storage warehouses, freight terminals and other goods movement facilities. Technical assistance was provided to reduce costs associated with idling and diesel fuel use in parked transport refrigeration units (TRUs).


Water Flow Diagram Measures Water Efficiency at Industrial Plants

Water efficiency can be measured at industrial plants with a water flow diagram or water balance to show sources and use of water. Water is a ubiquitous resource yet one of the most important substances on earth.  All plants and animals must have water to survive. Without water there would be no life on earth.

Water is of strategic importance to the food industry; necessary in agriculture to grow crops to produce food and as an ingredient in making food products.

Water use is often overlooked as an input cost to be managed because of water’s ubiquity and relatively low cost.

Water Efficiency – water can be managed strategically just like energy!

The CleanFuture team is constantly working to find efficiencies and new ways to manage costs, energy, water, waste streams, and other environmental impacts. CleanFuture recently worked with several food manufacturers to develop a water balance to show water efficiency at their respective facility.

The first step to managing water efficiency is to understand the sources and uses as a foundation for developing and implementing a strategic water management plan; data collection and establishing a baseline are critical first steps. A water balance is a systematic survey of all water-using equipment, appliances, fixtures, and practices at a facility to inventory and categorize water use at a facility:

  • Water Supply Input – all water supplies for a facility and their respective volumes.
  • Process Water Use –  all areas and estimated volumes within the facility where water is lost or consumed.
  • Wastewater Discharge – all of a facility’s wastewater discharges and volumes.

This can be visualized in a simple input/output diagram showing:

  • inputs (A),
  • uses (B), and
  • outputs (C)

as shown in the diagram below.



Instead of a “black box” a better way to visualize is with a Sankey diagram, a specific type of flow diagram in which the width of the arrows is proportional to the flow quantity.  Here’s an example Sankey diagram for the general example above:


A water flow diagram using a Sankey diagram is a more insightful visualization.  CleanFuture used a Sankey diagram for a water balance at a small commercial bakery.  Water use at the bakery is mainly for cleaning at two sanitation areas, each with a pan washing machine and a large 3 compartment sink.  Water efficiency was measured using an ultrasonic flow meter on various equipment, fixtures, and pipes throughout the facility.  Here’s the resulting water flow diagram:



Where and how is water used at your facility?


CleanFuture’s John Thornton to speak on “Ways to Drive Costs Out of Your Transportation Business”

CleanFuture founder, John Thornton, will speak on “Ways to Drive Costs Out of your Transportation Business” at the IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference, October 16th to 19th in Tampa, Florida.

The formula for driving out transportation costs seems simple: less hours consumed by a refrigerated trailer unit leads to less fuel burned, which in turn lowers maintenance costs and reduces a distributor’s carbon footprint. And all of this equals greater bottom-line profits. But what does it take to get there?

Led by an independent foodservice distributor who has realized great cost savings and an energy solutions provider who has a passion for electric transportation alternatives, attend this session to learn what distributors can implement in their fleets and in the warehouse to produce a positive impact on their bottom line.

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:
• List energy improvement solutions that can be applied throughout a distributor’s operation.
• Discuss how electric standby reefer units reduce fuel consumption;
• Compare and contrast big spend versus small spend strategies.

Don Durm, Vice President, Customer Solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing

Steve Stidham, Director of Operations, Food Supply Inc
Ed Harmon, Ally Channel Manager, Georgia Power
John Thornton, President, CleanFuture, Inc.

CleanFuture Speaks on Electric Infrastructure at CARB Clean TRU Technologies Webinar

John Thornton speaks on TRU electric infrastructure in California Air Resources Board (CARB) webinar where staff and clean technology manufacturers present clean transport refrigeration unit (TRU) technology options.

See link to the handouts, a video will be posted at a later date.

See below for the agenda:


Clean TRU Technologies Webinar
August 31, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time)

9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions Danielle Chambers

9:10 a.m. Background                                                                       Rod Hill

9:20 a.m. Proposition 1B Funding                                                   Deep Ghosh


9:30 a.m. Electric Reefer Solutions                                                 Bryan Lake

9:45 a.m. Thermo King                                                                      Paul Barbaro

10:00 a.m. Carrier Transicold                                                         David Brondum

10:15 a.m. Shorepower Technologies / CleanFuture                   John Thornton

10:30 a.m. Boreas Nitrogen Cooling System / JFE Industries     Fred Norvell

10:45 a.m. Air Liquide                                                                     Guerric Malicet

10:55 a.m.  Q&A/Discussion
truck stop electrification gap analysis

Gap Analysis on Electrified Parking Spaces (EPS) and Truck Stop Electrification in the Northeast

A gap analysis on electrified parking spaces (EPS) and truck stop electrification (TSE) was presented at the Northeast Clean Freight Work Group at a meeting about preparing applications for alternative fuel corridors.







CleanFuture’s John Thornton to Speak on Idle Reduction Technologies: How to Lower Your Fuel Consumption and Save Money

CleanFuture principal John Thornton will be delivering a presentation on idle reduction technologies at the Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo on April 14, 2016 at the Cajundome Conference Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.LAF 2016 Conference & Expo

Mobilizing Industry: Energy Intensity Reduction Goal Setting for Competitiveness

One of the keys to the food processing industry’s ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace is its ability to use energy efficiently. Members of the Northwest Food Processors Association recognized the competitive benefits of pursuing energy efficiency and became the first industry group in the nation to establish an aggressive energy intensity reduction goal.

This paper describes the process to mobilize the regional food processing industry to set an industry-wide energy intensity goal. It also highlights the establishment and characterization of an industry-wide baseline, and progress to date toward achieving the goal. Barriers will also be identified as well as recommendations to overcome those barriers and lessons learned along the way.

Read more….


Barrow, Pamela and John Thornton. 2013. “Mobilizing Industry: Energy Intensity Reduction Goal Setting for Global Competitiveness.” In Proceedings of the ACEEE 2013 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, 5:1-14, Washington, D.C.: American Council for an Energy- Efficient Economy. http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2013/data/papers/5_201.pdf

Collaboration Across Organizational Boundaries: A Successful Model of Industry Sharing to Build Competitiveness


Thornton, John, et al. 2013. “Collaboration Across Organizational Boundaries: A Successful Model of Industry Sharing to Improve Competitiveness.” In Proceedings of the ACEEE 2013 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, 6:1-13, Washington, D.C.: American Council for an Energy- Efficient Economy. http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2013/data/papers/6_200.pdf

Drive Oregon and Oregon Innovation Plan recommended for investment by legislators

Yesterday the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development passed SB 5528, the biennial budget for “Business Oregon,” the Oregon Business Development Department. The Budget now heads to the full Ways and Means Committee for consideration.
The budget includes some key provisions to support major opportunities to lower Oregon’s stubbornly high unemployment and lagging personal income levels. These include:

The Oregon Innovation Plan

The Oregon Innovation Plan is now in its third round of funding and has delivered impressive results for the state. The Subcommittee allocated sixteen million dollars this biennium for the Innovation Plan, a suite of initiatives to enhance industry innovation and the commercialization of research. The funding will go toward three industry initiatives and three signature research centers. The industry initiatives include improving innovation and productivity in the food processing industry (IPC) ($500k), catalyzing Oregon’s emerging electric vehicle industry through Drive Oregon ($1.2 million), and putting Oregon on the map for wave energy development and manufacturing through Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) ($2.5 million). The Signature Research Centers include the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute (ONAMI) ($5.3 million), Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) ($3.8 million) and the Oregon Translational Drug Institute (OTRADI) ($2.8 million).

In the midst of a historic recession, the Oregon Innovation Plan developed by the Oregon Innovation Council has been successful at incubating new ideas into growing businesses, helping established industries become more competitive and creating a new economic future for all Oregonians. In less than four years of state funding, the six initiatives of the Oregon Innovation Plan have brought $195 million in federal and private grants back to Oregon and are on track to generate more than $7 for every dollar the legislature has invested, not to mention the creation of 1117 jobs and the incubation of 15 new companies.

For more details on how the funding will be used, visit http://www.oregon4biz.com/Innovation-in-Oregon/.

Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit coming to Portland

3rd Annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit

Bringing industries and partners together to support and advance industrial energy efficiency

Find out how your industry peers use energy efficiency as a competitive advantage.  Hear real-life energy savings success stories (and challenges) from industry personnel.  Case study examples include:  Strategic Energy Management; Quick Starts to Energy Efficiency; Emerging Applications of Existing Technology; and Energy Information Systems.

Network with companies who are implementing energy efficiency programs and projects; share and lean from their experiences.

Connect with energy services providers about technical and financial opportunities to help you save energy.

You should attend if you are involved in plant operations, plant engineering, energy management, sustainable practices, energy efficiency programs, services or products, or are interested in industrial energy efficiency.

Date:  January 19, 2011

Location:  Oregon Convention Center – 777 NE MLK, Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232

See here for additional information about the Energy Summit or send an email