Temperature Controlled Operator Goes Diesel-Free

Swedish long-haul operator Abbekås Åkeri (Abekkas Haulage) has fitted a Hultsteins Ecogen system to one of their 25.25m refrigerated drawbar vehicles which, says the company, is expected to extend the working life of the two diesel fridges, while at the same time making significant cuts in fuel consumption and harmful emissions.

Abbekås Åkeri operate 50 Scania and Volvo temperature-controlled vehicles and drawbar trailers, carrying mostly food products from Malmo in the south to Gothenburg and Stockholm in mid Sweden – making round trips of over 1,200kms every day.

Vice President, Mikael Nilsson explains:

“It was approaching the time to replace one of the Carrier Vector 1850 units because at 10 years old, the diesel engine was past its best. However, instead we opted to fit an Ecogen hybrid generator to the PTO on the Scania truck, which would provide electrical power to both fridge units and allow both engines to remain switched off for the entire 10-hour journey.”

From day one, the company reported a saving of 6-8 litres of diesel per hour, with the Carrier units running silently on the road and performing as normal. Also, given that each litre of diesel produces 2.68kgs of carbon, it was easy to calculate an approximate annual carbon saving approaching 50 tonnes. 

Furthermore, based on information provided by Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration, a vehicle of this specification – using one diesel engine instead of three – will also cut NOx and particulate emissions by 65% and 80% respectively. 

“This is where environmental considerations and commercial efficiency meet,” says Mikael. “By retrofitting the Ecogen electric generator and effectively switching off the diesel fridge engines during transit, we not only save on fuel but also extend the life of each fridge by at least two years. All the while, cutting harmful emissions and making life better for our drivers and everybody around them.”

The 25.25m refrigerated drawbar combination is the longest standard road trailer in Europe and normally requires three diesel engines to drive the vehicle and cool each box. Using the Ecogen system, however, only one engine is used: The fridge unit on the truck can be independently operated and when the drawbar trailer is required, it simply plugs in to the suzy coupling for electrical power to drive the second fridge. 

Although Hultsteins’ electric generation systems are widely used throughout Europe and have been available since the 1960s, this is the first to be retrofitted by Abbekås Åkeri. Hultsteins’ CEO, Börje Axelsson points to the simplicity and fast pay-back of the system:

“Ecogen can be retrofitted easily to any truck with a PTO (power take off) and will drive any type of conventional diesel fridge with electric standby, from any of the major manufacturers. Rather than intending to replace the existing refrigeration system, Ecogen works in tandem with the fridge unit to provide a cheaper and less harmful power source – generating a constant 400-volt, 3-phase electrical power to the same standard as the mains supply. With this typical application, operators can expect to extend the life of existing fridge units, while seeing a return on investment in under 15 months.”

Established in 1968, Abbekås Åkeri is a family business with its focus on the transport and storage of food. From its base in Staffanstorp and supported by extensive warehousing facilities, the company operates scheduled services in Stockholm, Västerås, Östergötland and Gothenburg with departures seven days a week.


About Hultsteins:

Hultsteins is a family-owned company rooted in Sweden, that launched the first fossil-free hydraulic refrigeration unit in 1962. The company aims to offer optimal refrigerated transport technology that meets the most demanding customer requirements and to guarantee the same high standard of service and assistance. Today, Hultsteins manufactures hydraulic and electric refrigeration systems, in the UK and Sweden and all products are designed for external mounting on the vehicle to save cargo space.

Hulsteins Acquires Cold Connect

Hultsteins has long been known for fossil-free solutions for refrigerated truck transport. The company’s hydraulic-powered refrigeration units have given it a unique position in a market where diesel-driven units are increasingly being called into question.

In the UK, Cold Connect has held a similar position by offering sustainable refrigerated transport powered by electricity or hydraulics instead of diesel. The companies have previously worked closely together and now Hultsteins has acquired Cold Connect.

“The acquisition of Cold Connect gives us a solid foundation in a very interesting market. It also expands our technical knowledge about electricity and hybrid solutions, which means that we are well-equipped to meet future refrigerated transport requirements,” says Hultsteins’ CEO Börje Axelsson.

In the British market, Hultsteins will build on both companies’ innovative approaches to refrigerated transport.

“The integration of Cold Connect with Hultsteins was a natural step as the companies have many similarities, not least when it comes to smart solutions that are sustainable for both customers and the environment,” says Stephen Maile, CEO of Cold Connect.

RFL Alternators v Sawafuji Alternators

The Comparison

As many car enthusiasts and tech heads would know – factory fitted isn’t always best. The Kubota Lowboy GL series generators use Sawafuji Electric Company manufactured alternators as factory standard. They’re very well built and reliable, and proven in Japan for a long time. However, the Sawafuji Alternators require a very high level of electronics and are extremely complicated in their design. Information on the alternators and other products from the company are limited due to the complex engineering and electronics on the product.

The alternators, and particularly the AVRs, have reported some failures under extreme weather conditions in Australia. Time and time again there has been a need to refit the alternators in case of failures with a much more reliable product.

The main reasons for refitting include:

  1. High labour costs at times makes replacement of the Sawafuji alternators a much more viable option than repairing them.
  2. Sporadic availability of spares and electric components asks for products with minimal electronics and ease of maintenance.
  3. Rewinding a Sawafuji alternator in case of failures is very expensive.
  4. There is a lack of reliability in the alternators after rewinding.

RFL Alternators, in partnership with Macfarlane Generators, have the answers! The RFL RF2-12.5 Bi-Gen is a technologically advanced PM brushless alternator, offering the highest energy efficiencies while maintaining minimal physical size – setting a new industry standard. Its PM design brush-less internal magnetic voltage regulation (no AVR or electronics) means that possible points of failure are kept to a minimum by eliminating traditional brushes and AVRs. In other words – keep it simple stupid!

There were significant advantages when refitting a Kubota Lowboy GL 6000 with RFL alternators; the units registered 10% more power, 10-15% fuel savings, and much better THD levels.

Kubota Lowboy

About RFL Alternators

Based in Sydney, Australia, RFL Alternators Pty Ltd is a world class manufacturer of high quality permanent magnet alternators for the power generation industry. With over 25 years of investment into research and development, RFL prides itself in continuing to develop new and efficient cutting-edge technologies and products which are at industry’s forefront, and manufactures alternators to the highest quality standards.


Read More

RFL Alternators

See more about our 6kVA Used Kubota Low Boy – Available now!

Source: https://www.macfarlanegenerators.com.au/blog/rfl-alternators-vs-sawafuji-alternators

Permanent Magnet Alternators Improve Genset Performance

Permanent Magnet Alternators Improve Genset Performance

RFL Alternators has developed a new wave of permanent magnet alternators using its novel magnetic flux technology that enables generator manufacturers to produce multivoltage gensets.

The novel magnetic technology also enables RFL Alternators’ units to be smaller, more durable, lighter and more energy efficient.

As a result, magnetic flux technology is ideal for portable mobile generator applications where portability, robustness and ease of use can make all the difference on a job site.

RFL offers a range of standard engine couplings that can be interfaced with a vast variety of engine models, types and speeds. This allows genset manufacturers to easily incorporate the alternators in their existing designs to realise benefits such as a smaller footprint, efficiencies up to 95%, easier motor stating, and total harmonic distortion down to less than 3%.

Husqvarna is one company already taking advantage of the new RFL design to allow its genset users to run single- and three-phase machinery from the same generator.

Makinex Construction Products has also used the RFL alternator in a generator capable of providing separate, electrically isolated voltages from a single unit.

RFL Alternators
02 9584 9970


Source: https://www.industryupdate.com.au/article/permanent-magnet-alternators-improve-genset-performance

Portable 23kw 480V Generator

The Portable 23kw 480V Generator is the newest addition to Makinex’s portable generator range. The generator’s unique alternator

configuration powers 120V and 480V simultaneously with no loss on either circuit. It is able to take 23kw from the three phase and 3kW from the single phase at the same time without affecting each other, with no power or frequency dips. The power is generated in a single alternator, but from separate auxiliary copper windings.

The generator is only 36 by 25 by 36 inches, making it the smallest dual phase 23kw 480V generator on the market.

Everything you need to know about Permanent Magnets

Based in Sydney Australia, RFL Alternators Pty Ltd is a world class manufacturer of high quality permanent magnet alternators for the power generation industry. With over 25 years of investment into research and development, RFL prides itself in continuing to develop new and efficient cutting-edge technologies and products which are at industry’s forefront, and manufactures alternators to the highest of quality standards.

The objective of the blog is to give a deep understanding of Permanent Magnets, the modern industrial applications, demand and supply drivers.

Why know about Permanent Magnets

Permanent magnets are a vital part of modern life. They are found in or used to produce almost every modern convenience today, from speakers in mobile phones to the electric motors in hybrid cars; air conditioners and washing machines. Permanent magnets are used increasingly in technological applications, including traveling wave tubes, Hall Effect sensors, high temperature-resistant permanent magnets, thin-film coating equipment and flywheel storage systems.

Magnets – Permanent vs Temporary

Centuries ago, it was discovered that certain types of mineral rock possessed unusual properties of attraction to the metal iron. One particular mineral, called lodestone, or magnetite, is found mentioned in very old historical records (about 2500 years ago in Europe, and much earlier in the Far East) as a subject of curiosity. Later, it was employed in the aid of navigation, as it was found that a piece of this unusual rock would tend to orient itself in a north-south direction if left free to rotate (suspended on a string or on a float in water). A scientific study undertaken revealed that steel could be similarly “charged” with this unusual property after being rubbed against one of the “poles” of a piece of lodestone or temporary magnets.

Unlike electric charges (such as those observed when amber is rubbed against cloth), magnetic objects possessed two poles of opposite effect, denoted “north” and “south” after their self-orientation to the earth. It was impossible to isolate one of these poles by itself by cutting a piece of lodestone in half: each resulting piece possessed its own pair of poles.

Induction – Permanent Magnets Vs Electromagnets

A Permanent Magnet is made from a hard-magnetic material whose atoms have been permanently aligned during manufacturing. Permanent Magnets maintain this intrinsic magnetism over long periods of time.

An electromagnet is created by running a current through conductive wire that is tightly wound around a piece of soft magnetic material. The magnetic field stops when the electrical current ceases.

The basic operation of generators and motors relies on Faradays law of induction which predicts how a magnetic field will interact with an electric circuit to produce an electromotive force (EMF). A magnetic field is thus required to create electrical power in generator mode, or to create work in motor mode. These magnetic fields can be generated by either permanent magnets (PMs) or electromagnets. This blog will give a brief description on the differences between the two along with their associated advantages and disadvantages.

Magnetic Strength

The main benefit to using an electromagnetic is in the ability to control the resultant magnetic flux. This can be done by either turning the magnet on and off or by adjusting the current through the coil. This is an ideal characteristic for maintaining voltage regulation where the electromagnet operates as a generator.  Electromagnets also possess the ability to create greater pull strength than permanent magnets.

As the name suggests Permanent Magnets maintain a permanent magnetic flux, hence limiting the flexibility associated with voltage control whilst operating as a generator. A key benefit of PMs is that they are capable of operating at a peak efficiency at all times.

 Loss of Magnetism – A myth or fact!

Deep Dive into ways Permanent Magnets are mounted in Alternators and Motors – Understanding limitations of Surface mount PMs and how our patented Imbedded design has proven success

It is a common notion that permanent magnets lose their magnetism over a period of time. Although this is not at all true, there are conditions which may result in loss of magnetic properties.

For this we need to understand the difference between Surface Mount Magnets and RFL’s patented Imbedded Design and the relation of magnetism to PM temperature rating

We conducted a lot of temperature tests on the RFL alternators and other alternators / motors using surface mounted design. The case temperature and the rotor temperature stabilize after about 1 Hour running at full load. The PM temperature range is about 120 degC and although our alternators are air-cooled, we have never registered temperatures beyond 100 degC.

However, this may not be the case with alternator design where the Permanent Magnets are surface mounted. At this temperature, the magnets can be susceptible to short circuit load conditions damaging the magnets. We have tested many other pm designs and have found these units to be prone to magnet damage under short circuit load conditions.

High loads or motor starting can demagnetize the magnets in surface mount pm designs even at magnet temperatures well below the PM temperature rating.  For example – DOL motor starting of AC motors. This is effectively a short circuit and as such many PM designs have problems starting AC motors. The RFL design does not have these problems. The motor starting ability is equivalent to a standard induction alternator with a pm exciter. The patented positioning in the RFL Alternators means that magnets are protected from flux loss under short circuit loads, even at elevated temperatures. This is a key advantage of RFL design.

We have also tested the RFL design with magnet temperatures close to 100 degC, at short circuit conditions many times and no flux loss has been registered. Due to the patented imbedded design, The RFL unit does not have this problem. In fact, we have had zero rotor failures to date.

Our largest four pole customers are reefer industry generator set manufacturers. We have produced over 2000 units for these clients. This application requires constant starting of refrigeration compressors at high temperatures and for long periods of constant operation (weeks without stopping). RFL Permanent Magnet Alternators have had not a single failure in this application.


There are a number of major families of permanent magnets available for designers, ranging from ferrite, known for its low cost and low energy, to rare earth materials, which are more expensive and offer higher performance. Designers need to analyse magnetising field strength and magnetic output of magnetic materials prior to deciding on the appropriate magnet.

The design of Permanent Magnets is extremely flexible; they can be built longer and flatter, providing a large area of magnetic coverage. Due to the flexibility in Permanent Magnet sizing, the generators construction becomes more flexible. For example, a higher pole count can be achieved due to Permanent Magnets requiring a smaller


pole pitch. This will increase the electrical frequency. The availability of Permanent Magnets in very small dimensions make them ideal for size-limited applications, or for a lightweight man portable application.

In the case of electromagnets size prohibits applications. Cooling requirements further limits the portability of electromagnetic machines.


Electromagnets require a DC power source in order to create the magnetic field, subsequently producing heat that requires removal. The main advantage of Permanent Magnets over electromagnets is that the Permanent Magnet does not require a continuous supply of electrical energy to maintain its magnetic field and consequently generates no heat. This makes the Permanent Magnet the clear winner in this field.

Load balancing

With electromagnetic generation, a high source impedance exists. When operating at a full single phase load the input impedance (that of the electromagnet) becomes measurable with that of the phase impedance; this will naturally cause a high voltage variation. Eventually this could burn out both the rotor and stator winding. Suppliers tend to use an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) to overcome this, adding cost and complexity to the design. With the use of PM machines, a load on one phase does not cause adverse effects on the other 2 phases.

Typical Applications of a Permanent Magnet

Scientists use four basic ways to categorize magnets, based on how their magnetic force is used.

Category 1: The magnet’s attraction or repelling force.

These applications are the simplest use of magnets. A simple refrigerator magnet is a perfect example—a picture or slogan on a small piece of laminated cardboard with a small bar magnet glued to the back which attracts to a metal refrigerator door.

Category 2: The magnet’s ability to convert electric force into mechanical force.

Electric motors are good examples of using magnets to convert electric energy into mechanical force. While electromagnets are more commonly used for electric motors, permanent magnets can be used as well. A magnet is placed in a conductive substance, and then the magnetic field yielded by the magnet turns another piece of equipment, which rotates the motor rapidly.

Category 3: The magnet’s ability to convert mechanical force into electric force.

Generators predominately use this ability. In contemporary times, electromagnets are more often used for power generating turbines, but permanent magnets still play a part.  Very simply, two permanent magnets are placed opposite one another, with like sides facing. Their repelling forces rotate a turbine, which then turns a piece of equipment known as an armature. This churning armature generates electricity, which can then be transferred to other purposes.

Category 4: The magnet’s ability to affect ion beams.

Cathode-ray tubes, a type of vacuum tube for focusing electrons, use permanent magnets for aiming purposes. A ring of permanent magnets, alternating north and south poles, is on the end of an electron gun’s yoke, and these ringed magnets can be rotated to focus the beam for better reception or tighter focus.


In all of these applications, it is important for the designed permanent magnet to be of high strength, resistive to corrosion, and resistive to demagnetization due to excessive heat. Manufacturers have gained experience in designing and producing permanent magnets to meet these needs for industries with permanent magnet and magnetic assembly applications.


Economics of Permanent Magnets – Demand vs Supply

Permanent magnets today are 60 times as strong as they were about 90 years ago. Strong permanent magnets that can be used in industrial applications were developed in the 20th century, and Japanese and western European researchers and technologies have always played major roles in the development of permanent magnets.

Neodymium magnets are the strongest known Permanent Magnet and as such are generally used in Permanent Magnet electrical machines. Neodymium is classified as a rare earth magnet however, they are not exceptionally scarce. The bulk of the current production is from China, whose government imposed strategic materials controls raising concerns in consuming countries, this has caused a high price tag. The price has dropped since the 2011 boom however the cost of electrical machines containing PM material still comes at a higher cost. It should be noted that due to the higher efficiency of PM machines, there will be a cost savings factor in fuel.

The NdFeB Permanent Magnet market will continue to grow

Metric Tons x 1,000

Production by region / country 2012 2016
China 50 65
Europe 1 1
Japan 10 8
USA 0 2
All Others 2 2
Total 63 78


Source: “Permanent Magnets 2010-2020”

The permanent magnet industry will start to see the end of serious RE shortages as new supplies begin to hit the market in coming years, with new designs and new materials thus bringing down the cost of Permanent Magnets and their related application and products while still maintaining all of the technical superiority vs conventional products



Electromagnets are vulnerable to power failures, too much current can create short circuits rendering the magnet useless. AVRs also add another component in the system which decreases the overall system reliability as a result.

Permanent Magnets face limitations in operating temperatures due to limitations in material properties, consequently they may require special cooling in very hot environments. PMs provide a constant magnetic strength utilising simple designs with no moving parts or electronics. Unlike the electromagnets PM machines are not susceptible to power failures and operate virtually maintenance free.



The permanent magnet industry has grown in the last decade and is likely to continue this growth into the next decade because of increased usage of magnetic circuit components in a variety of industrial equipment and devices. Electromechanical devices (motors and permanent magnet alternators) constitute the largest market for permanent magnet materials. This market is growing rapidly.

Applications related to permanent magnet direct current motors – brushless direct current (BLDC) and brush-type (PMDC) – and power generation (permanent magnet alternators) will be the largest usage segment of neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets, followed by voice coil motors (VCMs) in disk drives, because of the need for reduced size and higher performance. The third major usage segment is hybrid and electric automotive drives.

Some key facts

  • The global market for permanent magnets has reached US$11.3 billion in 2013, and is expected to grow to US$ 15 billion by 2018 with a CAGR of 5.7%
  • Metallic magnets (combining neodymium-iron-boron, alnico, and samarium-cobalt magnets) dominate the market, followed by ceramic magnets (ferrites) magnets.
  • In terms of regional demand, the market is large in the Asia-Pacific region, and it is growing at a fast pace due to rising demand from end-user industries, especially in countries such as China and Japan.
  • The market is growing slowly in Europe, but will continue to grow at a significant rate in the North America.
  • The U.S. is a net importer of permanent magnets, for as much as 60% of its consumption.


This blog is intended to share a high-level view on permanent magnets. If you want to know anything more, please let us know.


Kubota GL Series Refit by RFL Alternators

The objective of the case study is to highlight the advantages of RFL Alternators against the Sawafuji alternators – factory fitted in Kubota GL series generators (http://www.kubota.com.au/products/power-equipment/generators/gl-series/).


The tests conducted has been shared with users to understand the benefits of the Refit kit currently provided by RFL alternators.

Know a bit more about us

RFL Alternators Pty Ltd

Based in Sydney Australia, RFL Alternators Pty Ltd is a world class manufacturer of high quality permanent magnet alternators for the power generation industry. With over 25 years of investment into research and development, RFL prides itself in continuing to develop new and efficient cutting-edge technologies and products which are at industry’s forefront, and manufactures alternators to the highest of quality standards.


 The Kubota GL Series power generators is one of the most popular and best performing small range power generators sold and used in Australia. All the below factors make the Lowboy suitable for a number of applications from industrial to home and recreational use.

Low Noise Levels: The use of the larger capacity radiator on the GL-6000/9000 generators, with oversize muffler plus a lower fan speed ensures minimum operating noise levels. A matched air cleaner hose further reduces suction noise to make sure these generators are the quietest available.

Easy Maintenance: Control panels are centrally located and easy to use, providing full operating information at a glance. Single sided maintenance reduces the operator’s workload and makes checking the oil, fuel, cooling water and battery levels a simple operation. Transportability is enhanced with special forklift openings on the base of the unit as well as one-point lifting eye.

Safety Measures: The GL-6000/9000 generators provide covers for the engine cooling fan and generator for safer operation. An automatic shutdown is activated if water temperature is too high or oil pressure drops below a safe operating level and a Starter Safety System prevents engaging again after initial start.

Improved Reliability: The Kubota super mini vertical diesel engines are water cooled and have increased performance for dependable horsepower and when direct coupled to the generator, provide continuous power output levels with minimum power loss.


Sawafuji Alternators and market demand for simplicity

The factory fitted Kubota lowboy GL Series generators use Sawafuji Elec Co manufactured


alternator which are very well built, reliable and have been proven in Japan since a long time.

However, the alternators do require very high level of electronics and are extremely complicated in their design. Information on the alternators and other products from the company are limited due to the complex engineering and electronics on the product.

The alternators and particularly the AVRs have reported some failures under extreme weather conditions of the Australian continent. Time and again there has been a market need to refit the alternators in case of failures with a much more reliable product. The main reasons for such an opportunity are

  1. High labor costs at times make replacement of the Sawafuji alternators a much more viable option than repair
  2. Sporadic availability of spares and electric components asks for products with minimal electronics and ease of maintenance
  3. Rewinding of the sawafuji alternator in case of failures is very expensive
  4. There is lack of reliability in the alternators after rewinding


RFL Alternators and the answers provided

The RF series Radial Flux Generators are a single stator, single rotor permanent magnet design. The combination of novel winding techniques with innovative rotor and stator design gives the RF series significant advantage over current commercially available technologies.

The RF series generators are designed specifically to be compact, lightweight whilst remaining highly efficient. All materials used in construction are conventional, so as to minimise manufacturing cost whilst still providing the specified performance.

The RFL RF2-12.5 Bi-Gen is a technologically advanced PM brushless alternator, offering highest energy efficiencies while maintaining minimal physical size. It sets a new industry standard. Its PM design Brush-Less Internal Magnetic Voltage Regulation (No AVR or electronics) means that possible points of failure are kept to a minimum by eliminating traditional brushes and AVRs.

We found significant advantages when refitting the Kubota Lowboy GL 6000 with RFL alternators. The units registered 10% more power, 10-15% fuel savings and much better THD Levels


The Kubota Lowboy Re-fit Kit

Product Overview: The RFL Kubota refit kit is an ideal alternative for the Kubota GL6000 and GL9000 gensets.

The kit comes complete with:

  • RFL PMG alternator.
  • Mounting foot (1)
  • Adaptor housing (2)
  • Taper drive shaft (3)

Model Options and Specifications:

  1. RF2 – 7.5 KGL6: 7kVA / 7kW single phase 50Hz 3000rpm alternator suitable for Kubota GL6000 Lowboy Generator
  2. RF2 – 12.5 KGL9: 10kVA / 10kW single phase 50Hz 3000rpm alternator suitable for Kubota GL9000 Lowboy Generator

KEY BENEFITS – Magnetic Flux Technology operates without electronics, uses less fuel while providing more power.

  • Compact and light
  • More power
  • Longer life
  • Easy to fit
  • 15% saving in fuel
  • Low service costs

Please find the complete test procedure, test reports and summary here – Kubota Lowboy GL6000 Test Report

Click here for details on the Refit Kit – RFL Kubota Kit

For many more such interesting case studies and blogs please contact us directly or visit us at https://gj7.932.myftpupload.com


Focus Industry – Refrigerated Transport

Based in Sydney Australia, RFL Alternators Pty Ltd is a world class manufacturer of high quality permanent magnet alternators for the power generation industry. With over 25 years of investment into research and development, RFL prides itself in continuing to develop new and efficient cutting-edge technologies and products which are at industry’s forefront, and manufactures alternators to the highest of quality standards. Today, we are excited to share our experience and contribution in one of the most critical and fastest growing industries in the world i.e. Cold Chain Logistics

Cold chain systems are crucial to the growth of global trade in perishable products and to the worldwide availability of food and health supplies. Each year, billions of tons of fresh food products and millions of dollars’ worth of exports are lost due to poor cold


chain systems in developing markets.

  • The World Economic Forum lists food crises as fourth on its top global risks of highest concern for the next 10 years.
  • Globally, billions of dollars are spent on improving agricultural processes to create higher food yields, but the fact that nearly half of all food never makes it to a consumer’s plate is largely ignored.
  • Additionally, over $260 billion of annual bio-pharma sales are dependent on cold chain logistics to ensure the efficacy of their products.

RFL Alternators in Transcool BV solutions

Key Facts and growth indicators in the cold chain logistics sector as a whole

  • Cold chain services that support perishable food distribution globally are estimated to be valued at nearly $250 billion.
  • Experts also estimate that cold chain logistics spending in support of bio-pharma industry is more than $10 billion and is expected to grow to $13 billion by 2019.
  • Asia alone contributes to $1.2 billion in growth.
  • The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of cold chain markets is anticipated to reach nearly 16 percent into 2019.


Infrastructure and Road Transport Network

The infrastructure within a country is a key aspect in a company’s selection of export markets. Transportation infrastructure must be capable of supporting the reliable distribution of a product within the country or region without excessive delays. The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses has noted a strong correlation of cold storage capacity to a country’s transportation score in the World Economic Forum’s Transport Index.

Transportation costs are often the most challenging obstacles to suppliers in developing countries. In countries with

well-developed cold chains, most retail and franchise service providers outsource their supply chain operations to third party logistics providers (3PLs) and to other cold chain service providers that meet their requirements based on their products and business strategies.


Improving technologies in cold transportation has created a shift in transport modes

  • Flowers are increasingly being transported to the U.S. via ocean going vessels, rather than the traditional, more expensive air transportation option.
  • In fact, global shipments of all perishable products by ocean carriers has increased rapidly over the last 35 years.
  • Reasons for the shift include greater availability of refrigerated containers, improved facilities at ports and better technology options for monitoring shipments in route.
  • Air transportation is still a heavily relied on mode of cold transportation for many high value items, such as biologic and bio-engineered drugs which can cost as much as $100,000 or more.
  • The amount of biotechnology products that require cold chain has risen drastically around the world. Nearly half of the top 50 global drug products in 2013 required cold chain services.
  • Cargo challenges in air transportation have led to some pharmaceuticals shifting to sea modes in recent years.


Reefer Trucks or Refrigerated road transport trailers

Modern refrigerated trucks, known as reefers, are designed to be very versatile and can be configured in minutes to carry a wide variety of cold products. Many trucks can carry products of varying refrigerated temperatures by adjusting internal compartments to meet specific product temperature needs. Often modern trucks are fitted with GPS monitoring systems that can provide data on location and can help operators maintain the temperature in individual compartments. Individual trucks can cost between $30,000 to well over $150,000.

Refers require industrial designers and engineers to develop efficient refrigeration units for transportation vehicles and networks. The industry has developed few key systems/solutions with specific advantages and disadvantages

  • Primary engine – Air conditioner / Refrigerated system draws the power from the prime mover itself. The system is simple and cost effective, however may have limitations
  • Auxiliary Powerpack – Use of a secondary engine to drive the refrigerated unit
  • Clip-on refrigerated units – Units that can be fixed to the containers instead of being a part of the trailer.
  • Chassis mounted APU (Generator) – A generator is mounted under the chassis in a very small footprint which can run independently and is particularly efficient in fuel consumption

RFL Permanent Magnets in Transcool’s Generator Solutions

Transcool is a dynamic company that produces these custom-made generator sets (APUs) for the transportation sector. The goal of Transcool is to produce sustainable machines with a high energy efficiency level.

After building various prototypes, Transcool succeeded in producing a generator set able to power two refrigeration sets at the same time with a fuel consumption of only 2.2 litres of diesel per operating hour. This is achieved by tuning the unit in such a way that there is sufficient power at low engine speeds (1,500 rpm). All the generator components units were carefully placed during the development to improve serviceability.

Transcool have engineered our permanent magnet alternators into their generator sets. In so doing have managed to design a very robust, compact and fuel-efficient product for the refrigerated transport industry

Innovation with regards to the packaging – Transcool have achieved rapid uptake in a short time reflective of the market place acceptance of the product. More power from drive engine and less fuel consumption.

The design of highly efficient permanent magnet generator set that exceeds industry standards, is smaller and lighter that equivalent models. We also looked at common problems of existing designs and found the durability of the RFL permanent magnet alternator to be a key point of improvement.

Our RF4-20 and RF4-30 permanent magnet alternators are smaller and lighter while being around two thirds of the length of competitor alternators. The durability of the RFL permanent magnet alternators has seen zero failures, (ie no electronics). The increased efficiency has enabled the complete genset packaging to be smaller and lighter as less fuel storage capacity is required.

Transcool have designed and built an innovative and industry leading generator set and RFL Alternators are proud to partner with Transcool in trying to change the industry landscape. If you want to know more about such case studies and how we can help solve your problem at hand, please feel free to write to us as well.


For more information on our permanent magnet alternator range, please visit our website or contact us.

DC Generators in Telecom Industry

RFL Alternators Pty Ltd., has 25 years of research in the power generation industry backing its core strengths of innovation and energy conversion to produce world class patented products which are at the cutting edge of Technology today.

Telecom sector and DC Generators

The Focus of this blog is on the changing dynamics of doing business in Telecom Infrastructure.


Early age of Mobile Telephony

Let us roll back about 25-30 years. With the advent of Mobile Telephony across the world, the need for radio communication and mobile air waves grew dramatically.

This led to the demand of a huge world-wide network of Telecom Towers from cities through to  the most remote areas. There were a number of challenges to start with some of which  still remain very relevant in today’s scenario;

  1. Availability and accessibility of land,
  2. Capability and capacity to construct the required infrastructure,
  3. Environmental factors aligned with operating the equipment from big cities to remote locations with exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, altitude etc. and
  4. Power requirements the prime subject of this blog

Power Requirements

More often than not power to such remote locations always was a challenge and 100% of power supplied was through diesel Power Generators.

Since, the towers had to operate without a minute’s downtime in the harshest of conditions, the power generators had to be robust, powerful and at the same time extremely fuel efficient.

The first 2 requirements being the driving ones and the need for heavy AC power for Air conditioning units to shield the control units from the effects of nature, telecom companies preferred heavy power generators costing huge capital expenditure and consuming gallons of fuel, at the same time keeping a backup stock of prime power at their disposal to be used in rotation.

The whole operation was uneconomical but necessary and was never put it into question because of the lucrative revenues and bottom line growths made by Telcos around the world.

The advent of internet bubble in the 2000s

Mobile telephony in the new millennium is no longer associated with high voice calling rates and huge profits. The millennials in fact use the technology for far more complex applications and in much effective and economic communication which have depleted the bottom lines of the Telecom giants across the world severely.

The good news however is technology for infrastructure is also growing at a similar pace.

  1. Construction equipment and technology has ensured highly efficient, fast paced creation of infrastructure
  2. Modern control systems and radio communication does no longer require huge amounts of AC power and are becoming more and more resilient to environmental change, and
  3. And the footprint of cell tower infrastructure has dramatically reduced.

What has not changed rapidly with respect to the second point is the perception of Telecom Providers, Infrastructure Providers and even government regulators. In an age where fuel is becoming increasingly scarce, they still rely on highly inefficient


power generators consuming huge amounts of fuel.

DC Generators vs AC Generators in Telecom Grids

Technological advances enable telecom control units / towers to operate at higher temperatures thus eliminating the air conditioning load at site, creating significant energy savings and opening the market for DC generators.

Solid state electronics need DC power, not AC power

RFL Alternators today are trying hard to overcome this perception of 100 years of conventional systems and AC power legacy. Our cutting edge permanent magnet technology provides the following advantages;

  1. No maintenance and high reliability – limited electronics, simple efficient design only rectifications diode used
  2. Long life – With less failing, wear and tear parts our alternators promise long life
  3. Very compact – Reduced footprint ensures overall size of generator to be reduced
  4. Increased Efficiency – Use of cutting edge patented technology increases efficiency by 10 -15%% and reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%
  5. Light weight – Reduces costs of reinforcements, enclosures and increases serviceability
  6. Low DC voltage ripple



Presently 4.7 billion unique mobile subscribers and 5.7 billion projected by 2020. Telecommunications companies worldwide will invest over $1.4 trillion in the construction of new cell towers and equipment upgrades by 2020. Reducing energy cost presents a major opportunity to increase profit in an ever-shrinking unit subscriber fee base.

Mobiles are replacing land lines as primary means of communications. Now the same level of reliability is being demanded of mobile network as to wired telephone networks in yesteryears.

There is increased focus and awareness among nations for reducing carbon footprints, use of conventional fuel and energy sources to limit the dangers of Global warming.


Key Facts

  1. More than 90% of the current telecom towers use inefficient AC power.
  2. By 2030, it is predicted that 90% of the global population will have a smart phone.
  3. Australia – The large geography and remote towns and populations make it ideal for use of DC powered Generators.
  4. India – It is estimated that the telecom towers in India consume more fuel than all trucks running in the country.
  5. Africa – Large parts of the continent still suffer power outages for 12-18 hours. This makes even the most urban of sites needing highly fuel-efficient systems for tower operations.
  6. USA – With the role out of 5G networks, there will be need for better and efficient systems.

RFL Alternators Pty Ltd., and our partners are constantly trying to change perceptions and challenge traditional thought process in the Energy Generation space. We are right in the middle of innovative projects in sectors like Telecom, Marine, Transport, Renewable Energy and Military.


You can find about all of our DC PMAs in our new DC Range Products Page on the website. For more such interesting facts and to know more about all the interesting work that we are doing at RFL Alternators, please get in touch with us.


No need to compromise, more power using less fuel

When transporting perishable goods over land or sea, keeping the refrigeration unit operating at an optimal temperature to preserve the quality of perishable products across the supply chain, is vital. Failing to do so, will result in degradation and microbial growth increasing the risk of cross-border noncompliance with safety legislation and will cost businesses millions of dollars’ worth of lost cargo.

Associated with this guarantee of safe delivery, is the enormous cost of operating multiple containerised units continuously, for days on end across varying climatic conditions. Genmark is a leading expert in the transport field, and over the last 20 years has continually delivered innovative solutions which cannot be found in other generator set products.


The situation/challenge

With a deep understanding of industry challenges, Genmark identified a need for better quality high performing generator sets which were compliant to industry standards and could be relied on 24/7; as well as provide more power and be cost effective to run. High fuel consumption is a significant financial cost to transport companies, and the associated environmental impact along with the high importance to be able to service the unit easily.

For this product innovation to be successful, Genmark needed to seek out an alternator partner which had a product offering which was leading edge, and both reliant and willing to partake in being part of a comprehensive process starting at prototype development, testing phase, through to full-scale manufacture.

When approached by Genmark, RLF Alternators was very excited to be presented the opportunity to be part of a quest, to develop a Genset product which would be the flagship benchmark in the refrigeration transport industry,” say Jason Clegg, Managing Director, RLF Alternators.


The outcome/solution

The new Genmark generator set range was designed around the attributes of the world class RFL alternators. These alternators feature the powerful Magnetic Flux technology embedded in the permanent magnetic design. Rather than the traditional wound rotor with permanent magnet end, this new design allows the length of the rotor to reduce significantly. Consequently, the alternator is lighter in weight, has a 40% smaller footprint and 92% more efficient. With no electronics this eliminates the risk of electrical failure which is often an occurrence with other models on the market.

As an industry leading manufacturer RLF Alternators developed features specific for the refrigerated transport industry, and they include a unique bearing cassette which enables the main bearing to be changed in situ quickly and easily; without removing the alternator from the generator set.

Another additional feature was the high quality marine grade coating applied to the stator winding to ensure the alternator could withstand the rigors of extreme heat and icy cold conditions.

Eric Breddels, Director, Genmark BV said “these uniquely designed RLF alternators have been integrated across the Genmark product range. RLF alternators feature no electronics, which eliminates the risk of electrical failure, uses less fuel providing a massive cost saving to our customer. Eric went onto say “Genmark now has a solid point of difference in the market with RLF alternators integrated in our generator sets”.

These durable Genmark generator sets are smaller in size and weight therefore easy to move around, easy to service and extremely fuel efficient with savings up to 20% when using the by-pass function. This by-pass feature allows the Genmark generator set to run without electronics, thanks to the inbuilt RLF alternator.

The Genmark Clip-On generator set solutions are designed to keep the fuel consumption low and the performance high. With low fuel consumption, the fuel tank is smaller and therefore the Genset is lighter in weight. It also features standard pin mount system with clamp mounting option guaranteeing fast assembly.

The Genmark Undermount range is designed to keep the weight low and high performing. With adjustable mounting beams, makes it possible to fit the unit in the best possible position on your chassis.

Finally, the unique Genmark Modular product suite can fit almost any chassis and will often fit chassis locations where other standard generators will not fit. It has low weight and soundproof.

With the assurance of RFL permanent magnet alternators inbuilt in every Genset, Genmark continues to deliver leading edge solutions, which are unique to the transport industry.



We are extremely excited about the opportunities the refrigerated transport segment continues to offer. The technical requirements needed, RFL can ideally match and Genmark is a well-connected organisation with a deep understanding of customer requirements and the reefer industry. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.” say Jason Clegg, Managing Director, RLF Alternators.

“The RFL alternator range has helped us to develop a durable generator set for the transport market which is unique in its kind. We offer an efficient solution which operates without electronics, uses less fuel while providing more power.” says Eric Breddels, Director, Genmark BV.


Modular Generator Set

modular set

Genmark Modular generator set with can fit almost any chassis and features inbuilt RF4 permanent magnet alternator with ground breaking magnetic flux technology.


Clip on Generator Set

clip on generator

Clip-on Genmark generator set with 400 litre fuel capacity with inbuilt RF4 permanent magnet alternator with ground breaking magnetic flux technology.


Undermount Generator Set

undermount generator


Genmark Undermount generator set can be fitted in best possible chassis possible and includes the inbuilt RF4 permanent magnet alternator with ground breaking magnetic flux technology.