Everyone has seen solar panels in their travels. They are usually on roof tops of houses or buildings. Typically, they are always stationary, until recently, now they are on the move. One of more unique ways to utilize solar panels is in the trucking industry.
Solar panels attached to the tractor and trailer can be an aid for drivers who want to see a reduction in fuel costs. Truckers who drive long hauls and tend to stay inside their truck longer can use solar panels to help run power to their refrigerators, TV, coffee pots, and all electronic devices. Similarly, trailers can use solar panels to help lift gates, enhance battery voltage and make deliveries faster.
Solar panels come in all shapes and sizes. According to an article in fleet owner magazine, “Solar panel installations need to be sized appropriately for their intended application. There are a lot of options with these solar packs, and they typically come in standard sizes. “It’s really important to understand what problem you’re trying to solve,” Roeth explained. “Is it the battery HVAC time for the drivers? Is it making sure the starter batteries have juice in them so you don’t have a dead truck?”” Picking the correct solar panel configuration could reduce battery problems down the road.
Studies of solar panels in the trucking industry are still in process. There is a gap between installation costs and payback that may be prohibitive for fleet owners. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency has put together the chart below: