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Solar panels

Same basic problems as putting solar on a car though...

- Cost of the panels vs amount of energy generated makes it a lousy trade off.
- You might be talking a lot more square feet of power generation, but the truck also requires a lot more energy to run.

if you put solar on the trailer and leave it out in the sun while the truck makes another run then you will want to add batteries to the trailer as well. That adds complexity, cost and weight. The only exception to this might be using batteries and solar on the trailer to provide refrigeration.

As a company looking to go electric they would be better off putting the solar on the roof of the building where it will not get damaged or dirty being driven around the countryside.

Couple that with a mega charger or two and batteries to create storage on site and you have cheaper more reliable power for the building as well as your fleet.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
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Back of the napkin math here.. 8kW of solar panels would add at least 1500lbs to the trailer and provide only 5km extra range per sunlight hour. Maybe 20km/day. Cool to look at (how exactly..) but not worth the trouble, IMHO.

It would be more like ~300lbs if laminates are used. Point is that unlike a car that would require curved, complicated and non-standard cells you could just pull utility scale laminates off an assembly line for ~$0.10/w. Unlike a car solar on a trailer would actually have a ROI.

8kW should generate ~50kWh on a good day. That's ~25 miles or 40km of range fully loaded not 5 (you confused energy with power); but the biggest benefit would be the energy savings not the extra range. If it's incorporated into the trailer in the assembly line that's solar for <$0.50/w vs ~$1/w utility scale or $2/w commercial. The most expensive part of any solar install is the labor. If it's part of a highly automated assembly process and solar on trailers becomes standard that cost largely goes away.
 
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if you put solar on the trailer and leave it out in the sun while the truck makes another run then you will want to add batteries to the trailer as well. That adds complexity, cost and weight. The only exception to this might be using batteries and solar on the trailer to provide refrigeration.
This is a good point, but there’s at least one additional exception, which is you could provide an umbilical to feed the power from the parked trailer onto the grid. I don’t have a good sense as to the economics of doing so, but if you’re imagining building out megacharging facilities at the same site, maybe?
 

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