Midsummer and Scania trial truck-side solar panels

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Swedish solar technology company Midsummer has installed its flexible CIGS solar cells on a Scania hybrid truck trailer to see how much the range can be improved with solar-generated electricity. Measurements will also be made to see whether the trailer can feed electricity into the grid when not running.

Calculations by project partner Uppsala University indicate possible fuel savings of 5-10 percent in Sweden and 10-20 percent in Malaga, Spain (the difference in savings reflecting the different climates of these two countries).

”Our technology has previously successfully powered electrical vehicles such as buses and smaller vehicles,” said Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer. “It is promising that project calculations indicate good possibilities for actual fuel savings. Our type of flexible and thin film solar cells is necessary to drive the development in the direction that the automotive industry needs to take in order to reach global climate goals.”

”We have high expectations for this project,” said Eric Falkgrim, technology leader in Vehicle Design, Scania R&D. “Being able to power our trucks with solar energy would be a massive breakthrough for the truck industry that is working relentlessly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

Other project partners include Eksjö Maskin & Truck AB as constructors of the trailer; Ernst Express that operated the truck and the trailer; and Dalakraft as the owner of the electrical grid located at Ernst Express’ facilities and in charge of feeding into the grid.

Commercial trials will run throughout 2021. In June 2020, Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova announced that the project has received financing to the tune of SEK 8.3m ($0.93m) for phase 2 and that participants are also providing financing.

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