HOW THE FUTURE OF SOLAR POWER IN THE COMMERCIAL TRUCKING INDUSTRY HINGES ON INTEGRATION
The use of solar energy in the heavy-duty commercial trucking industry is thought to be the next great frontier. Purkeys is excited about the potential that solar power has in the industry because, as fleets move towards cleaner fuel sources, solar power appears to be the logical solution. However, according to Purkeys Chief Engineer Dale Henningson, the practical application of solar technology, at present, is using the power as a supplemental source within a larger system.
The Purkeys team is conducting research on the benefits of solar energy and has seen that one of the immediate needs for the trucking industry is for system integration. Simply using solar technology is one matter; using it in conjunction with the truck’s charging system is another.
In order for solar technology to be useful, the work must be done to successfully integrate it into the already established charging systems. Without proper integration, the ways to take advantage of the solar technology is limited. According to Chief Creative Engineer Bruce Purkey, “It’s not as simple as throwing a solar panel up there and saying ‘that’ll fix it’.” If the integration is poor, then fleets will not be able to get the maximum benefit from solar technology, resulting in lost efficiency.
As CEO Justin Purkey states, “Successful integration is probably the most critical factor in achieving our goal, which is minimizing the costs to the fleet so that they can deliver more and use less.” Purkeys is ensuring that they don’t overpromise and under deliver. They choose to be thoughtful and careful about technology. The solutions they’re developing and delivering to their customers help them achieve their goals, which is to reduce their costs and to keep vehicles on the road.
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