ATP test facility

Product of dienst

ATP test facility for temperature controlled transport

Our climate chamber for research with respect to refrigerated vehicles and reefer containers is an internationally designated ATP testing station. Moreover the test facility is frequently used within the framework of specific research projects on request of or in cooperation with industry.

ATP certificate renewal

Purpose: Prolongation of an old ATP certificate. After 6 years, a ATP-certificate renewal is required. The renewed certificate has is valid for another 3 years. This means that renewal is required after 6, 9, 12, years. Depending on the age, usage and state of the trailer, the prolongation  may require additional performance testing. The decision if additional performance testing is needed, is made by the national authorized body (RDW in the Netherlands, TÜV in Germany, etc.), who are authorized to issue new ATP-certificates. After our test you receive a new ATP certificate from the authorized body, provided that your vehicles meets the requirements.

Test procedure: Being a recognized ATP testing station, we can arrange the prolongation of your ATP certificate through the procedure usual in Germany and described in ATP paragraph 49 of annex 1, appendix 2. You place your vehicle in our test facility in Wageningen (The Netherlands) for one day. Most important aspects of the test:

  • visual inspection
  • pulldown test

The visual inspection primarily checks whether the inner and outer lining of the insulating walls are still watertight, and whether the vehicle’s accessories have been changed such that the K-value has deteriorated compared to the type approval test report its certificate is based on. In the pull down test the refrigeration unit pulls down the inside temperature at maximum capacity for 6 hours. The test starts at +15 °C or warmer in an environment of +15 °C or warmer.
Whether you keep your FRC certificate or fall back to FRB or FNA depends on the test results. One requirement to keep FRC is that your vehicle can cool down to -20 °C within 6 hours.

Type approval of insulated bodies and insulated (multi-compartment) tanks

Purpose: Assessment of the K-value (W/m2.°C) of insulated transport equipment in conformity with paragraph 1 till 28 of ATP annex 1, appendix 2. After the test you receive an internationally recognized ATP K-value test report.

Test procedure: The transport equipment is positioned inside the temperature-controlled climate chamber of A&F in Wageningen. The internal temperature of the equipment is controlled at 32.5 °C by means of electric fan heaters, while the air in the climate chamber is controlled at 7.5 °C. The electricity capacity Wheaters of the electric fan heaters is measured. Meanwhile the air temperature qinside and qoutside at 10cm distance from the vehicle's walls is registered at 12 prescribed locations both inside and outside the vehicle. The measurement is terminated when the measurements have been in steady state for at least 18 hours. The last 12 hours are used for calculating the K-value:

Type approval of refrigeration units

Purpose: Determination of the effective refrigerating capacity of a refrigeration unit in accordance with paragraphs 51 to 59 of ATP annex 1, appendix 2. After the test you receive an internationally recognized ATP refrigerating capacity test report.

Test procedure: The refrigeration unit is mounted on a calorimeter box or an item of transport equipment and positioned inside our climate chamber. After determining the K-value of the box the air in the climate chamber is controlled at 30 °C. The effective refrigerating capacity W0 is measured at three internal temperatures between –25 and +12 °C (usually –20, -10 and 0 °C). The internal temperature is maintained by setting the unit's reference temperature 5 °C below the required internal temperature and regulating the internal temperature by means of our electric fan heaters. W0 is calculated from at least 4 hours steady state data using. Especially the refrigerating capacity at -20 °C is decisive for future ATP certification.

Airtightness measurement

Purpose: Assessment of the airtightness of insulated bodies in accordance with DIN8959, DIN1815 or ISO1496, depending on customer requirements.

Test procedure: The measurement is performed with our home-made special purpose airtightness measurement device. In this measurement the inside of the vehicle is brought at a constant under- or overpressure of 250Pa, and the airflow (m3/h) to maintain this pressure drop is measured. The measured air flow at 250Pa is a measure for the airtightness. In case the air leakage is unacceptably large then we can visualise the air leakage by means of a smoke test. The airtightness measurement could be performed at any location.

Infrared thermometry to detect thermal bridges

Purpose: The objective is to enable a mutual comparison of the seriousness of the different thermal bridges of an insulated box.

Test procedure: The mutual comparison is enabled by measuring surface temperatures at the outside of the insulated body using infrared thermometry. To enable a reliable comparison surface temperatures are measured twice. The first measurement is conducted with a large temperature difference between in- and outside (thermal leakage through walls). The second measurement is conducted while inside temperature = outside temperature (no thermal leakage through walls). Subtracting the two measurement results from each other gives the elevation of measured outside surface temperatures due to heat leaking from the inside. This observed elevation is a good indicator for mutual comparison of the seriousness of thermal bridges.

Calculation of K-value (W/m2.°C)

Purpose: Estimating the K-value or U-value of insulated transport equipment from design specifications.

Method: For simple K-value calculations based on the principal dimensions of the insulated body we use our own EXCEL® application. This yields a reliable estimate of the theoretically best feasible K-value. Because thermal bridges are not or hardly accounted for the real K-value is usually worse than calculated. More complex calculations that account more accurately for the exact construction details are done in FEMLAB®.

Calculation of gas concentrations during transport

Purpose: To determine the required fresh air exchange for spaces filled with fruit, vegetables or flowers.

Method: Departing from the gas production characteristics of the specific produce, the amount of produce and the vent settings a model predicts the gas concentration build up. With FAIM you can do your own calculations. We can compute a large range of other, more complex, scenario’s using MATLAB®.

Description of test facility

Our test facility is a climate controlled test room of the following dimensions

  • length 20 meter
  • width of entrance 4.40 meter
  • vertical clearance 4.35 meter

The desired airflow around the vehicle is tuned by means of 12 controllable and movable fans.

The calibration of all temperature sensors and power analyser is traceable to international standards.

The accuracy of our measurement system has been proven by means of comparison with another renowned ATP testing station.