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Solar Power for Semi Trucks

Published Thursday, April 10, 2014. Category: Equipment

Go Power! makes flexible roof-mounted solar panels that work great on RV roofs to help power appliances and gadgets while on the road. Now Go Power! has teamed up with Cummins Crosspoint to help truckers reduce the fuel consumed by their power-hungry accessories.

In the past, truckers would idle their trucks for hours at a time to keep the air conditioning (or other accessories) running while they would sleep. With the cost of fuel always rising and the concern over exhaust emissions causing global warning, there has been a big push to find an alternative.

One solution is Cummins Crosspoint's ClimaCab. ClimaCab is a climate-control system that mounts in the bunk area. It provides AC and heat using battery banks and doesn't require the truck engine to run (heat is actually supplied by burning diesel fuel from the truck's tank).

One of the major complaints about ClimaCab is that it sucks down battery power quickly. On really hot days/nights, the ClimaCab unit can drain the battery bank in hours.

In order to help extend the running time of the ClimaCab and other accessories, Cummins Crosspoint teamed up with Go Power! to outfit solar panels on a truck trailer for the 2014 MATS show.

Go Power! makes thin flexible solar panels than can easily be mounted on the roof of tractor trailers without having to penetrate watertight surfaces. The panels are durable and hold up well to vibrations and withstand debris that would damage a traditional rigid solar panel. They add relatively no height to the trailer.

A 53 foot trailer can hold about 5,000 watts of solar panels and this can really help recharge batteries that are under a heavy accessory load.

*Image Credit: Go Power!