Scania begins checking semi-truck trailer covered in photovoltaic panels

Oct 8, 2020 12:46 PM ET
  • Automakers have been playing with solar panels on autos for decades now. In sunny places, on ultra-lightweight, aerodynamic autos covered in them, solar cells can supply propulsion for long periods of time. But on manufacturing automobiles that have security, comfort and styling factors to consider, there are limitations to what solar panels can do.
Scania begins checking semi-truck trailer covered in photovoltaic panels

The solar roofing system on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, for instance, can only supply sufficient power for a couple miles after a few hours of sun exposure. However what if you could have tons and also heaps of solar panels?

That's the concept behind the semi-truck trailer that's being examined by Scania, the European vehicle manufacturer owned by Volkswagen Group. The trailer is 59 feet long as well as has photovoltaic panels along both sides as well as the roof. In overall, there are 1,507 square feet of photovoltaic panels covering the trailer.

Checking of the trailer is being made with Swedish trucking business Ernst Express, which will certainly use it with a plug-in crossbreed Scania semi-tractor. While Scania didn't provide a price quote for the number of miles of electrical range could be included with the trailer, it does approximate an enhancement in gas economic climate by about 5-10%, and an overall power generation of 14,000 kWh over the course of a year. That might not sound like a lot, but this is the estimate for Sweden, a country that's far north and gets much less sunlight than much of the remainder of the world. Scania approximates that if the truck as well as trailer were used in a bright nation such as Spain, the improvement might double.

There's potential for greater than just gas economy enhancements. Scania and the firms it's partnering with for screening and also solar panel growth say the trailer can give power to the electrical grid when it as well as the vehicle aren't being used. We might see such trailers coming in handy as portable power generators for areas that may be suffering power blackouts because of tornados as well as various other natural calamities.