What is Mobile Refrigeration?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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Mobile refrigeration is a form of refrigeration which is designed specifically to address refrigeration needs in mobile environments. There are a wide range of mobile technologies for refrigeration, from simple coolers used to keep things like vaccines cold during transport to refrigerated big-rig trucks, sometimes known as “reefers.” The goal of mobile refrigeration is to achieve and maintain a stable cool temperature for the purpose of protecting goods or organisms during transport.

In the commercial sense, there are a number of uses for mobile refrigeration. For food safety reasons, many foods have to be transported in refrigerated vehicles or containers, to ensure that dangerous bacteria do not have an opportunity to grow. Examples of products shipped in this way include: fresh dairy, meat, foods with live cultures, seafood, frozen foods, and products without stabilizers. The use of mobile technologies for refrigeration also expands the market a product can reach, as it might otherwise be limited to a small geographic area.

Mobile refrigeration is also used to protect other products which need to stay cool, such as cut flowers, which are often shipped in chilled containers, along with medical supplies such as medications which must stay cool to stay stable, and vaccines. Organs for transplant are also transported under refrigeration to keep the tissues viable until the organ can be attached to a new blood supply.


There are also recreational uses for mobile refrigeration. Small units ranging from wall-mounted coolers for recreational vehicles to coolers for the car can keep food and other supplies cool on trips. Fishermen and hunters also use mobile refrigeration to keep their catches cool for food safety reasons. Refrigeration may be desirable for things like keeping drinks cold, keeping medications cool for family members, and so forth.

Numerous products and components need to be kept at cool temperatures for safety and stability. In more grim applications, mobile refrigeration is important in disaster response, so that as bodies are recovered, they can be kept under refrigeration to slow the rate of decomposition. Traditional refrigerated trucks can be used for this purpose, or disaster recovery crews can use specially designed mobile morgues.

Companies which specialize in mobile refrigeration sell things like portable coolers, freezer units and accouterments, entire refrigerated trucks, refrigerators and refrigerated containers which can be loaded onto large vehicles, and so forth. Many also offer maintenance services to ensure that their equipment continues to work at optimal efficiency, and may back their products with a warranty for peace of mind, especially if a product is expensive, as may be the case with something like a refrigerated truck.


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