He shaped transport refrigeration for over 45 years: ECOOLTEC patron Peter Großkopf stands down

Following the work undertaken by ECOOLTEC Grosskopf GmbH in the development of pioneering and sustainable transport refrigeration systems based on natural refrigerants being put into production, Peter Großkopf has fittingly decided to conclude his long and exceptional career in transport refrigeration by ending his active involvement with ECOOLTEC. The internationally renowned refrigeration technology expert founded ECOOLTEC based on his passion for the design and development of energy efficient and environmentally benign refrigeration. He has been advising the company, helping to enable CEO Henning Altebäumer and CTO Dr Jürgen Süß to successfully implement Peter Großkopf’s vision.

Thanks to his extraordinary expertise, Peter Großkopf (77) has repeatedly during the past four decades set new technical landmarks and standards in the transport refrigeration industry. His primary goal has always been to develop innovative transport refrigeration machines to meet the current and future challenges of temperature-controlled road transport. In doing so, he focused not only on the performance and economic efficiency of the systems, but also on optimal environmental compatibility.

This is now the mission of ECOOLTEC Grosskopf GmbH, of which Peter Großkopf is the founder, past Managing Director and a consultant. The start-up from Mülheim an der Ruhr specialises in purely electrically driven refrigeration machines with natural refrigerants – a world first in road freight transport. This technology currently creates the most favourable CO2 footprint in transport refrigeration.

Time to hand over the baton to experienced managers from the refrigeration industry After the ECOOLTEC team led by CEO Henning Altebäumer and CTO Dr Jürgen Süß successfully transferred Peter Großkopf’s technical concept from the drawing board to reality by developing the TM182 refrigeration machine, Peter Großkopf held the view his consulting function was no longer a necessity and has therefore decided to fully retire.

Together with Henning Altebäumer, who supported him at FRIGOBLOCK as assistant to the management, later accepting the role of product manager of the FRIGOBLOCK product portfolio at the Ingersoll Rand Group (today Trane Technologies), and the expert in refrigeration technology Dr Jürgen Süß, a past senior executive at well-known international groups, are steering ECOOLTEC.

Focus on sustainability and economic efficiency ECOOLTEC is therefore in very capable hands. Henning Altebäumer and Dr Jürgen Süß, together with the majority of ECOOLTEC employees who have many years of experience in the industry, will continue to manage the business in the spirit of Peter Großkopf. “I have full confidence in Henning Altebäumer, Dr Jürgen Süß and their team.

Together they will further develop the company into a significant supplier of innovative transport refrigeration systems with a wide range of applications. The focus will be on the sustainability and economic efficiency of the machines,” explains company founder Peter Großkopf.

“ECOOLTEC’s mission is clear: we will make temperature-controlled transport by road as environmentally friendly as possible and offer both economic and transport quality advantages to all fleet operators,” says CEO Henning Altebäumer.

“In order to achieve this, we use technologies that the industry has ignored so far, but which are tried and tested and whose benefits for the environment and transport operators have been proven.

These include natural refrigerants in refrigeration generation and distribution,” adds CTO Dr Jürgen Süß. A whole life for environmentally compatible transport refrigeration Peter Großkopf founded FRIGOBLOCK Grosskopf GmbH in 1978 and built and managed it highly successfully until it was sold in 2015. Under his leadership, the company quickly developed into one of the largest European manufacturers of high-quality, electrically driven transport refrigeration machines. During this time, the name FRIGOBLOCK became the trademark of high-performance, environmentally friendly,
durable and cost-saving vehicle refrigeration systems.

For many years, Peter Großkopf was President of the Technical Advisory Board of TRANSFRIGOROUTE GERMANY and TRANSFRIGOROUTE INTERNATIONAL. He was also active for a number of years on the board of the German Frozen Food Institute and was a member of the International Institute of Refrigeration, the German Refrigeration Association and the Association of German Refrigerated Warehouses and Refrigerated Logistics Companies.

Transport refrigeration based on natural refrigerants ready for practical use Shortly after the sale of FRIGOBLOCK, Peter Großkopf wanted to make his vision of implementing the progress towards even more climate-friendly refrigeration technology come true and to no longer let the industry go without natural refrigerants. Therefore, he decided to found the Umweltstiftung Grosskopf GmbH in order to develop a particularly sustainable transport refrigeration system.

In the meantime, ECOOLTEC Grosskopf GmbH has emerged from Umweltstiftung Grosskopf GmbH. On the one hand, this process documents the transition from the concept to the production phase of the new refrigeration technology based on natural refrigerants. On the other hand, ECOOLTEC was founded at the request of many customers. From the very beginning, the company was able to rely on a large number of interested parties, which was also confirmed by the enormous number of customers expressing their interest during the IAA TRANSPORTATION 2022.

Extensive practical and detailed knowledge acquired since 1955 Peter Großkopf has dedicated his entire life to transport refrigeration and acquired practical knowledge as early as 1955 in his parents’ frozen foods wholesale business. There he became acquainted with the advantages and disadvantages of the various transport refrigeration systems. Since suitable transport equipment was not available in sufficient quantities and with the desired performance at the time, his parents’ company developed its own systems and bodies. Peter Großkopf was already working on insulating panels and foaming techniques at that time.

He deepened this knowledge during his mechanical engineering studies at the University of Hanover, specialising in refrigeration technology and in the optimisation of lightweight sandwich panel constructions as well as transport refrigeration systems. He then continued this work at the Institute of Science of Materials at the Official Materials Testing Institute before eventually founding FRIGOBLOCK, thus leaving a positive and important lasting impression on transport refrigeration technology. Peter Großkopf now devotes himself mainly to private projects, but of course remains closely associated with the company.

Companions pay tribute to Peter Großkopf’s life’s work The companions Hubertus Kobernuss, former Chairman of TRANSFRIGOROUTE DEUTSCHLAND and today Honorary Chairman of the association, Willibald Blank, former Head of Service and Fleet Management of FRONERI Schöller, and Roger Schwarz, Managing Director of TRANSFRIGOROUTE DEUTSCHLAND, pay tribute to Peter Großkopf’s life’s work in a video. You can find the film here: www.ecooltec.com/petergrosskopf

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