Germany to Start Testing Solar-Powered Trucks

Solar panels will reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 5 -7%.

Together with four industrial companies, two Fraunhofer Institutes are actively developing solar-powered trucks. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the electricity generated this way can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5 to 7%. The new Lade-PV project will allow PV modules to be installed in commercial vehicles with a load capacity of more than 3.5 t.

Germany to Start Testing Solar-Powered Trucks photo 2

Solar panels are going to be installed directly on the roof. So, the larger the area, the higher the efficiency. In this regard, the optimal solution is to use, for example, refrigerator trucks. For this purpose, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed light and shockproof solar panels, which will weigh no more than 2.6 kg per square meter. Sunset Energietechnik GmbH will be involved in serial production.

Not least important are the components of the electronic control system, which will help to connect panels to the truck's power system. Specialists from M&P motion control and power electronics GmbH are working on it.

Germany to Start Testing Solar-Powered Trucks photo 3

The Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems develops an energy supply model that, depending on the number of occupants, specific route and solar energy production, evaluates the distance, charging time and power consumption.

We not only want to develop the technology, but also demonstrate that trucks can use onboard PV to meet over 5% of their energy demand. Calculations show that additional 4000 to 6000 kilometer driving range per year is possible. Vehicle-integrated PV (VIPV) is worthwhile for manufacturers and operators of solar electric commercial vehicles,

explains Christoph Kutter, project head at Fraunhofer ISE.

Preparations for testing solar-powered trucks are well underway. Most likely, FRAMO eTrucks based on MAN models will be used for the tests.

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