The Amco truck fleet takes solar technology on the road


Road Transport is one of the biggest sources of pollution in the UK, contributing to poor air quality, noise disturbance, congestion and climate change and is a significant contributor to Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Both individuals and businesses can all take actions to reduce it, such as combining several shorter journeys or, by walking or cycling for those journeys. However, for logistics companies like Amco, cycling is obviously not an option! However, looking at their environmental impact from a technical perspective, is.

Amco Operations Director, Mark Jones says "As part of our 2021 logistics strategy, Amco are focused on reducing our own carbon footprint as we acknowledge the damaging effects it has on people, animals, local vegetation and the environment.  We also want to stay ahead of the curve in helping to meet the UK's 2050 emissions target."

In order to deliver a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective logistics solution for their clients and customers, Amco have upgraded their fleet with the addition of flexible solar mats, supplied and fitted by TRAILAR. TRAILAR was born from the idea to innovate and permanently evolve the Transport Industry by harnessing cutting edge solar technology to save fuel, CO2 and maintenance costs.

The TRAILAR system captures solar energy via ultra-thin solar mats that are applied to the roof of the vehicle. These mats are connected to a Smart Charge Controller which regulates the energy transferred from the vehicle's alternator and the solar mats, to the battery. Sensors on the vehicle then monitor all the electrical characteristics and calculates the fuel and CO2 savings whilst providing the additional benefits of real-time telematics on vehicle, solar performance and GPS.

This system enables Amco to see in a live time situation how much carbon is being saved through their fleet via a telemetry dashboard.

Mark Jones continues: "Improving our environmental impact remains a key objective for us at Amco. With new modern technologies andalternative solutions paving the way for future transport, it is important we adapt and invest in our operation's sustainability. From the utilisation of TRAILAR's solar technology & telematics, we can not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also strengthen our fleet's performance.

We approached TRAILAR as they are known globally for fitting solar mats to the roof of a range of commercial vehicles. They are known to save businesses fuel, CO2 and maintenance costs as well as giving us the added benefit of extra data and telematics", he continued.

The Solar TRAILAR technology makes for a self-sufficient power supply possible everywhere; decentralised, pollutant-free and extremely cost-effective.

"Installation by TRAILAR was fast and simple,” says Jones. “The Amco fleet now boasts sleek, aerodynamic, shatterproof and durable solar panels which are constructed with Copper Indium Gallium Selenide meaning they perform to exceptionally high standards, even in shaded areas," he continued.

Housing its own Electrical Management System (EMS), Amco are now supplied with real-time data and GPS tracking information for all HGV vehicles within their fleet. "This GPS tracking allows the team to ensure all our HGV's are performing as efficiently as possible, reducing fuel costs and consumption", explains Jones. 

A typical engine will convert only 25% of its energy as Kinetic Energy, running at optimal RPM and torque load. In practice, this efficiency is not achievable. 

For a rigid utilising the TRAILAR solar mat over the course of a year, typical fuel and CO2 savings amount to up to 850 litres of fuel is possible, with up to 2.3 tonnes annual CO2 saving and an average ROI of between 12 and 18 months.

Jones added: "The introduction of TRAILAR Solar Mats is yet further proof of our commitment to reducing our CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. As a forward-thinking, responsible supplier it's our duty to embrace technology and apply suitable innovations to help reduceour road pollution and emissions and continue to provide customers with the very best in logistics services.”

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