Managing rapidly growing business costs is not easy and uptime is essential. So what can you do to address this problem? Solar power. It’s an ideal solution to meet your power needs and save you money.
ThermoLite® solar panels, by Thermo King, help lower operational costs by reducing diesel APU run time by 20 to 30%, extending battery life to five or more years, and helping match APU and tractor preventive maintenance. With APUs, solar offsets daytime heat loads, helps maintain peak performance, and provides a full battery bank even in low light conditions. Plus, the weatherproof construction is durable, and quick and easy to install.
Solar power offers a host of benefits for fleets running without APUs, such as reducing jump starts, expensive road calls, and the cost of replacement batteries. Solar panels can also power diesel-fired heaters, keep tractor batteries healthy, and ensure electronics stay powered up even over the weekend.
Martin Brower Brampton Canada knows firsthand the benefits of solar power. "With the solar panel, we can leave the reefer on cycle-sentry mode all year long, including winter, without the worry of a dead battery. Previously, we'd run in continuous mode, burning fuel for no reason, just to ensure the battery would stay charged," said Fleet and Warehouse Engineering Manager Chris Chua. "We are also recording fewer engine hours on the reefer, which stretches out the warranty time — it takes longer to reach the 15,000-hour mark. Both translate to financial savings and reduced emissions.”
One final note regarding solar: If you want to prevent midday liftgate battery failures and help reduce fuel consumption and delivery delays, then solar power is the way to go.
B&H Logistik in Germany is using a unique set-up of Thermo King generator sets and ThermoLite™ solar panels to increase reliability and efficiency of their operations.
Some new light has been shed on how to enhance the performance of battery-powered auxiliary power units (APUs), and it was right there above us all along. Using solar panels mounted to the roof fairing of a tractor can produce enough power to extend the operation of a battery-powered HVAC system and hotel load power for an additional three to four hours. A 300-watt roof fairing-mounted solar panel can also power the liftgate and maintain the charge in the truck’s primary batteries, according to Jeff Kauffman of Tahoe Ventures, who was speaking at the FTR Transportation Conference in September.