Energy experts attempt use of solar panels to reduce fuel use of trucks

Industry Insights

Whilst Sweden may not be famous for its summer, the place is suitable for trucks with solar panels, opines Swedish truck manufacturer Scania. What kind of benefits solar panels would have for the trucking industry?

In fact, it’s easy to see trucks are perfect candidates for solar power. This is because trucks have huge trailers that have flat sides. Usually used for advertising, the flat sides of trucks could be used to generate some power, which in turn, could reduce fuel consumption. The issue is power consumption of trucks is very high – the reason electric trucks are not seen. Nonetheless, solar panels may help to some extent to generate energy for trucks.

Swedish haulier to start operating hybrid truck for fuel saving estimations

For this reason, Sweden is the perfect place to test if solar panels work for trucks. If it works here, will work everywhere. To test this, Swedish haulier Ernst Express is going to start plying a hybrid Scania truck, with a trailer covered with an 18-meter long solar cell. The truck will be fully covered with solar panels totaling an area of 140 square meters. In fact, according to estimations of energy experts, this amount of solar panels could generate 14,000 kWh of energy. But the question is how could the solar panels work for energy for trucks?

In pre-study simulations, engineers at Scania estimated the type of benefits of using solar panel-covered trucks in Sweden. They estimated 5-10% fuel savings is possible. Meanwhile, the large amount of fuel need of trucks accounts for thousands of liters of fuel and large amount of CO2 emissions. And, the fuel saving estimated to be greater in places like Southern Spain with more than 80% hours of sunlight than in Sweden.

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