Flexible Solar Panels on Bus Roofs Extend Battery Life, Reduce Road Service and Maintenance.
Providence, Rhode Island, January 15, 2020 – eNow Inc. announced today that the Rhode
Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has completed testing and has deployed eNow solar
systems on the rooftops of its new 2019 buses. Designed specifically for the transportation
industry, eNow solar systems cut transit bus maintenance costs by extending battery life by two
to three times – improving battery performance year-round, and reducing jump starts even in
harsh winter temperatures. The new buses were manufactured by GILLIG Bus Manufacturing in
California, who also installed the solar systems.
eNow’s advanced solar systems capture energy from the sun, then use smart battery-charging
technology to manage the charging process – and maintain an optimal state-of-charge on the
buses’ primary (starter) batteries year-round. This lowers battery replacement and labor costs and
reduces CO2 emissions from idling in order to charge batteries. The result is improved battery
reliability when starting buses, especially in cold weather. Additionally, alternator life is
extended because the solar system provides much of the charging power to the batteries, which
reduces strain on the engine’s alternator.
“RIPTA is the first public transit system in the country to thoroughly test and add eNow’s
advanced mobile solar systems to its fleet on a large scale,” said Jeff Flath, founder, President
and CEO of eNow. “By introducing solar energy into public transit RIPTA is leading the way
both environmentally and economically – addressing climate change and lowering costs.”
For RIPTA, maximizing battery life and performance will represent a savings estimated at more
than $80,000 a year across their fleet of around 250 buses. Each new bus is equipped with two
batteries, which cost about $365 each. Now RIPTA will need to replace batteries less frequently
and will also save on costly road calls.
eNow solar systems are already being used across the trucking industry to help reduce operating costs and CO2 emissions on heavy-duty trucks. Many long-haul truck drivers previously idled their engines in order to power their tractors’ HVAC systems, driver-comfort appliances such as televisions and microwaves. Now they use electric APUs (auxiliary power units) charged by eNow solar systems to operate those devices. Besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this saves drivers about a gallon of diesel fuel per hour during their mandatory 10-hour rest periods.
eNow is a private company, founded in Rhode Island in 2011. It was the first company of its kind to develop mobile solar systems for commercial transportation. It currently sells its products throughout North America. The company’s mission is to provide industry-specific solar solutions to companies that embrace people, our planet and profitability.