6646186ff428852a13158c9d Phillips Solar

Phillips launches new solar panel technology

May 16, 2024
The highly efficient, thin-film panels for commercial trucks and trailers provide up to 34 hours of idle-reducing power for cleaner, more efficient operations

Phillips recently launched new solar panels for commercial trucks and trailers that are 80% lighter than traditional glass systems and produce 20% more energy with 50% higher power density, according to the supplier.

The highly efficient monocrystalline silicon (mono-cSI) solar panels use thin-film technology to create a clean energy source that supplements or replaces diesel usage, providing up to 34 hours of power that reduces engine idling. Advantages including fuel savings, elimination of jump starts, extended battery life, increased reliability, liftgate support, and additional power to offset parasitic loads, Phillips said.

The aerodynamic, peel-and-stick design also simplifies installation, and the “ultra-durable” patented grid design withstands extreme vibrations, winds up to 155 mph, and impacts from road debris, rocks, and tree branches.

“By integrating our solar technology, fleets can expect not only significant improvements in fuel efficiency and battery life but also enhanced compliance with evolving environmental regulations,” Rob Phillips, Phillips Industries CEO, said in a news release. “This shift toward solar energy is more than an operational upgrade; it’s a strategic move toward sustainability that will redefine the economic and environmental landscape of commercial trucking.”

Phillips’ Solar panels have outperformed other systems in real-world conditions, delivering superior performance in all lighting conditions and maximizing power output all day, year-round, Phillips added. Implementing the panels can reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions, with a recent study revealing fleets equipped with the panels achieved an average of 0.23 mpg higher fuel efficiency than similar models, saving over 400 gallons of fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 9.3 tons per truck per year.

The new panels, which are eligible for the Investment Tax Credit, come in seven kits for Class 8 tractors, reefer units, and tailgates.

Phillips solar panel technology benefits for fleet operations include:

  • Extended battery life: Frequent engine starts and the high electrical demand from auxiliary equipment can lead to increased battery wear and failures. Phillips’ solar helps maintain battery charge levels, reducing strain on the battery and extending its lifespan, which in turn decreases maintenance costs and downtime due to battery replacement.
  • Compliance and decreased fuel costs: Many regions have strict anti-idling laws to reduce emissions, forcing drivers to turn off engines during stops, which can affect the operation of critical systems like HVAC. Phillips’ solar helps power these systems without the engine running, reducing fuel consumption and ensuring compliance with regulations.
  • Driver comfort and retention: Maintaining a comfortable environment in the cab is crucial for driver satisfaction and retention, especially given the current driver shortage in the industry. Phillips’ solar panel capture energy to help run heating and cooling systems, and power devices such as refrigerators and entertainment systems, enhancing driver comfort during long hauls without the need for additional batteries.
  • Environmental impact and sustainability goals: With increasing pressure to reduce carbon footprints, companies in the commercial vehicle industry are looking for ways to decrease diesel consumption and emissions. Phillips’ solar provides a clean energy source that can supplement or replace diesel usage for various functions, aiding companies in achieving sustainability targets.
  • Operational efficiency in remote areas: Vehicles operating in remote or rural areas may not have easy access to power sources for recharging batteries or running equipment. Phillips’ solar ensures that essential systems can function independently of external power sources, improving operational reliability and efficiency in off-grid scenarios.
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