Etihad Cargo and Masdar Institute Design Sustainable Cargo Dolly System for Abu Dhabi International Airport

September 21, 2018

A new design for a smart, temperature-controlled, sustainable and energy-efficient air cargo container (cool dolly) system has been launched by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and Etihad Cargo, the fast-growing cargo division of the UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways.  

At present, international airports and ground-handling teams around the world employ transportation dollies that are diesel-powered with energy-intensive cooling units, which are expensive and do not meet all performance requirements.

Following the close collaboration between Masdar Institute and Etihad Cargo, the innovative new cool dolly is specifically designed to optimize the transportation of temperature-sensitive cargo which includes pharmaceuticals, livestock and perishables that need to be transferred between the aircraft to the storage compartments in the cargo warehouses, providing Etihad Cargo and the Abu Dhabi International Airport a unique competitive advantage over other destinations.

The new hybrid cool dolly design incorporates the use of innovative thermoelectric module technologies, modified compressor units, and custom-made power bank that can be attached to solar panels for recharging, ensuring that the temperature can be regulated to meet the needs of temperature-sensitive cargo, while minimizing power consumption.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) that is being organized as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Week (ADSW) 2016 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). Senior officials and faculty from Etihad Cargo and Masdar Institute including Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President of Research, Masdar Institute, and David Kerr, Vice President of Etihad Airways Cargo, attended the launch ceremony.  

Dr. Griffiths said: “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Etihad Airways in undertaking these research projects aimed at supporting their operations with novel solutions. Our research platform integrates energy and system engineering w in a manner that we believe can make a meaningful contribution in transport and logistics operations in the UAE and overseas.”

David Kerr said: “We are committed to providing our customers with innovative sustainably-designed cargo solutions and working with Masdar Institute has helped us enormously in developing a specialized temperature-controlled dolly that protects sensitive products from the heat and harsh weather conditions we sometimes face here in the UAE.”  

From Masdar Institute’s side, the research project is led by Dr. Sameh El Khatib, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Mohamed Omar, Professor, both of the Engineering Systems and Management Department, with Dr. Vinod Khadkikar, Associate Professor of Electrical Power Engineering. A team of researchers at Masdar Institute, led by Research Engineer Anas Fakhri and consisting of students – Hamda Al Mazroue, Noura Al Hassani, and Abdulla Al Shehhi – are handling the technical design and testing of the dolly. Pablo O. Brizzio, Etihad Airways Cargo’s Senior Innovation Manager, is working closely with the research team at Masdar Institute to develop a design that meets the technical requirements and operational constraints.  

Etihad Cargo Innovation Department is also collaborating with Masdar Institute on a number of other related research initiatives. These projects led by Dr Daniel Choi, Associate Professor Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Masdar Institute, include adapting new advanced shock protection material for cargo boxes, and testing advanced thermal reduction coatings for Etihad Cargo’s Equine Stables and equine transportation service.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
18 January 2016