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Solar-powered reefer could save 1,000 litres of fuel per year

BELGIUM: Thermo King has provided its ThermoLite solar panels on 76 new refrigerated trailers of European logistics company ECS. 

The ThermoLite solar panels provide a sustainable power management solution for reefer units, increasing the battery life while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

Prior to its order, ECS performed a six months field test, monitoring four Thermo King refrigerated trailers with ThermoLite solar panels on four different routes across Europe. 

The Thermo King TracKing system allowed for remote tracking of battery charge levels and fuel consumption. ECS compared the results with the performance of four other units in their fleet, on similar routes but without the solar panel. The field trial proved that the installation of ThermoLite solar panels would allow ECS to save around 1,000 litres of fuel per year on each trailer unit.

ECS also calculated that the installation of the solar panels on the 76 trailers will reduce their CO2 emissions by 2,000 tons in 10 years.

ThermoLite solar panels ensure that the refrigeration unit’s battery remains continuously charged, extending the battery life and preventing its deterioration. By reducing the operation hours of the unit’s engine the solar panels also contribute to extending the maintenance intervals. Paired with telematics, they allow the fleet managers to be in constant contact with their trailers and access critical unit data at any time to ensure that the load is protected and the unit is running efficiently.

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