The MB Sprinter: 4 Different Types of Refrigerated Vans and Refrigeration Systems


It is important to choose the right type of refrigerated van for your business. There are many different types of refrigerated vans on the market, including the MB Sprinter Refrigerated Vans. Here is more information on the different types of refrigerated vans and defrosting systems so you can find the right vehicle for your business.

The Four Different Types of Refrigerated Vans

There are four main types of primary refrigeration or conversion methods for vans. The term conversion methods can be used interchangeably since they all refer to the materials used to convert a regular van into a functional, refrigerated unit.

Chiller Conversion Van

These types of vans have a chill refrigerator and are further lined with a 50 mm insulation layer. This unit is ideal if you want your products chilled but not frozen, meaning you need the fridge to be above 0˚C.

Insulation-Only Van

Generally, a refrigerated van that only uses insulation must also have the cargo area properly lined with 50 mm thick insulation. It can either be a polystyrene blend or Styrofoam. It is important to mention though that Styrofoam is usually considered to be the best. This option is a good option for many businesses, depending on what you transport. For example, a florist should be able to use an insulation-only van. However, the van is not ideal for a restaurant or seafood company that must transport chilled food.

Semi – Freezer Conversion Van

This van usually has thicker insulation in its cargo area, which is normally 75 mm thick. In addition, the refrigeration can either be hot gas defrost or reverse cycle defrost. These vans allow users to keep products in temperatures as low as -10˚C to -15˚C.

The Full-Freezer Conversion Van

This type of refrigerated van is fitted with at least a 75 mm thick wall insulation in addition to reinforced rear and side doors. The units also have hot gas or reverse cycle defrost. This type of unit does allow users to keep their products at temperatures that are as low as -20˚C. If you want the temperature to go as low as -25˚C, then you have to increase the insulation to a thickness of 100 mm and have the factory fitted sliding side door replaced with a specially manufactured slab door. For this unit, you can expect to spend $3,000 to $5,000 more than what you would have otherwise paid for a regular chiller conversion.

Understanding Refrigeration Systems Defrosting Methods

Previously we mentioned that full-freezer and semi-freezer conversions have refrigeration systems that can either deploy hot gas defrost, reverse cycle defrost, and off-cycle defrosts. It is important therefore to understand what these terms mean and how they differ from each other.

The off-cycle defrost is the cheapest and easiest to deploy. The unit does defrost using a timer that tells the engine compressor when to switch off. However, as earlier mentioned, this method cannot be used if you want to keep your products below the 0˚C gauge.

On the other hand, hot gas defrost as well as reverse cycle defrost are quite efficient and can comfortably maintain temperatures way below the 0˚C gauge in a refrigerated van. Both systems are therefore ideal for either the full or semi-freezer conversions. Hot gas defrost works by simply injecting hot gas into the system and thereby allowing for rapid defrosting. The reverse cycle is quite different in that it automatically reverses the work completed by the roof condenser and evaporator when necessary, ensuring rapid defrosting in a matter of seconds.

Please contact us to learn more about our wide selection of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Refrigerated Vans. We would be happy to help you find the best van for your business.