At the Avalon Air Show in 2017, you will see plenty of state of the art jet fighters and the latest engineering innovations from the military, but you will also see something new!
Enter the Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility. An engineering innovation by a collaboration between Heuch Refrigeration and Able Industries Engineering. We sat down with Martin Oakley, Business Development Manager from Heuch Refrigeration to discuss the new project.
Tell us a bit about the Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility.
The Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utility or MARU as we call it, is an innovation we have been working on for the last ten years. We envisioned a product suitable for help with aid efforts after disasters around Asia Pacific and even further internationally. We wanted to provide the capacity for long and short term refrigeration storage units that could be customised to suit a plethora of requirements.
To put it simply, MARU is a solar powered 10-foot refrigerated container. We have designed this to be a modular system and fit in with military off the shelf (MOTS) standards. It is a complete energy independent unit that has negated the requirement for grid, generator or fuel logistics which makes it perfect for disaster aid relief situations and rapid deployments.
How did you get started in this field?
We originally started with designs for 20-foot and 40-foot solar power off grid refrigeration systems. These were for more long term storage, refrigeration and even converting to remote site offices and medical centres.
We wanted to make the application even more user friendly in emergency disaster relief situations and realised that we needed the capacity for the units to be air transportable. We approached Able Industries Engineering to assist us in designing and fabricating the units to fit in accordance with NATO Master Pallet 463L specifications to suit military airfreight requirements.
Heuch and Able are long time collaborators, our first project beginning in 1980 building -18oC Tricons for the RAAF. Collaborating with local partners benefits all of us and is something we often do. Able Industries Engineering have helped accelerate the lead time to market. I can say we are very proud of the results.
You mentioned MARU could be customised, what are some of the options you have worked on?
We have designed a range of systems primarily for aid and health care. The systems can cater for medical supplies and mortuary aid through to food and tech storage. The units can even be adapted to become water filtration units, power distribution centres and even portable lighting.
We are looking to expand this offering by teaming with medical suppliers to supply and support deployable field medical infrastructure with on-board power supply, HEPA filtration and HVAC-R systems.
The sky is the limit with these Mobile Autonomous Refrigeration Utilities, as we can tailor to suit client needs!
Our main goal was to make sure it tied in the the Defence Department Joint Project 2060 aims. They need partners for supply and support of deployable field infrastructure and we feel we have created a product that caters to their joint project.
Come down and see MARU at the Avalon Air Show and meet the whole team.