Solar on Trucks
Save money, fuel, wear, CO2 and less faulty stops
Solar panels on trucks is increasing and there are good reasons for this. Especially trucks running long voyage, have a good economy in solar panels.
Engine wear and fuel savings
When the engine is not started to charge the batteries, it’s released from many cold starts (and running without obtaining operation temperature) and with the following engine wear. I do not need to explain why …

 … cold starts and long idling is unhealthy for the engine, you know that already.
It’s also becoming widespread throughout Europe that idling is simply forbidden.
It also saves fuel. I was surprised how much fuel was saved when I heard the first figures that have been measured.
I will not try to do calculations about what can be saved on fuel in your truck, but refer to your own calculations or your brands information.
But there is no doubt that there are significant savings to be collected.
The battery
Solar panels can by peaking the truck’s battery up continuously, make sure that the battery is kept charged at all times and thus prolongs the life of the truck’s battery .. Batteries and particularly starter/flooded batteries are very sensitive to being discharged to much, they should ideally always be more than 90% charged. It is not always possible, but it is such a starter/flooded battery is in it’s nature.
Therefore, it is poison for a battery that a driver is living in your truck over a weekend and drains the battery to for example. 50% charge, then starts the engine to recharge (wear and fuel consumption to follow…) and then drain it again to 50%. THIS is what kills a starter/flooded battery!

With solar panels on the truck, solar constantly tops up the battery (at day time, in night times a wind generator might do the trick) and supply power to the consumption by the driver to TV, coffee maker and refrigerator.
Depending on the size of the solar panels on the roof, the consumption pattern and the weather, the solar panels completely or partly eliminate the abnormal battery wear. The larger the solar panels area are, the better … in principle. Our experience shows that the 200-300 watt solar panels covering the needs of the majority. If you need more power or more power security, then you should probably in most cases, consider getting both solar and wind generator on the truck.
Some trucks must be recharged regularly according to the Manufacturer’s instructions (eg. Every 3-4 weeks). With solar energy this can be done off-grid and with out any planning.
Green image and the driver’s well-being
When the driver must stay in the truck for one or several days, he is with solar panels on the cabin, not tied to the truck as he would otherwise be. Because he does not need to keep power in the battery and start the engine every 3-5 hours. When he stays in the truck, he is releases from the noise from the engine and there is no diesel fumes either.

As haulier/owner you can use the solar panels on your truck, in marketing of your company as a green company. You will do a part to reduce your CO2 footprint in the world. But the best thing for you is the less faulty stops, due to low battery charge.
What next?
If you own a workshop, we have instructions for installing solar panels on a truck and we will help you avoid the many pitfalls in choosing a solar solutions. We can also refer you to a repair shop/dealer with experience of mounting solar panels on trucks.

At Energig we have gradually measured most cabins on the market and have prepared an installation instructions per cabin type. We have also put together bundles of solar panels, controllers and possible additional options per truck, so you are sure to get the right setup for your specific truck/cab type.

Contact us or call us on +45 70 500 999 and let’s talk about your options. 

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