Transporting perishable goods requires speed and efficiency. Solar panels on a milk transporter make it possible to support this with renewable energy. This improves the CO2 balance and at the same time increases reliability.
In 2014, the milk transporter shown here was equipped with an innovative system for energy generation: In addition to a generator for regenerating braking energy in the towing vehicle, solar panels on the trailer provide power for charging a 48V battery that drives a high-performance milk pump with a delivery volume of 2,000l per minute. This allows for fast loading and unloading of the perishable cargo and thus increases efficiency at lower running costs.
Back then with only 1,600Wp, in 2021 2,070Wp can be realised on the same area – an increase of almost 30% in only five years impressively shows how much progress has been made here in recent years.
Solar panels in the transport sector allow stationary vehicles and trailers to remain supplied with energy when the engine is switched off. This means that not only monitoring systems can be operated, but also cooling units, air-conditioning systems or circulation pumps can be run for longer periods without any problems when combined with a sufficiently dimensioned battery bank. This not only protects the environment, but also reduces the wear and tear on the vehicle’s engines, which are more maintenance-intensive than a photovoltaic system.
The trunks or roofs of lorries offer particularly large unused areas that have already been equipped with solar systems in some test vehicles – here, more than 3kWp can easily be realised in common vehicles with a length of 12m, resulting in a daily yield of 12-15kWh. During longer standstill periods without active consumers, the system can also be used to charge high-voltage batteries of electric drives.
Panel series: SR
Battery voltage: 48V
Battery type: LiFePO4