Solar for Public Transit and School Buses
The eNow solar battery charging system helps keep bus batteries optimally charged year-round. They reduce jump starts and extend battery life — even in cold temperatures.
eNow solar systems are ideal for:
Buses with battery-draining parasitic loads, parked for extended periods
Electric and hybrid buses: to extend range by off loading “non-motive” power demand
Maintaining 12/24/48V auxiliary batteries that power electronics, lighting, audio, and even cooling
Increasing traffic, combined with rising maintenance and fuel costs, are challenges faced by transit fleets. Idling remains an unfortunate consequence of bus operation, putting a strain on transit and school fleets across the nation.
An average municipal fleet of 600 buses wastes over $406,900 a year in fuel idling.
Public transportation is responsible for emitting a total of 12.3 million metric tons of CO 2 a year.
A school district with 50 buses wastes 50 gallons of fuel and 50 hours of labor every time the buses are started during the summer.
In addition to wasting expensive fuel and emitting greenhouse gases, idling also puts undue stress on the vehicle’s battery and alternator, leading to increased maintenance and replacement costs. Service calls to jump start the batteries are costly and time-consuming, and utilizing staff time to start/run engines just to charge the batteries wastes time and energy.
The eNow Solution
With the eNow solar battery charging system bus batteries are kept fully charged year-round. This reduces jump starts and extends battery life, even in cold temperatures. The eNow solar battery charging system is ideal for buses that lose battery charge while unused for extended periods, because batteries are charged continuously whether the engine is on or off. Buses no longer need to periodically idle to charge their batteries. This reduces fuel costs CO2 and other harmful emissions.
eNow is a “smart” system, directed by the charge controller. When the sun rises, the charge controller does a bulk charge to replenish the batteries. Once the charger detects a full battery, it goes into a trickle charge (or float) mode. It will continually charge the batteries during daylight hours, and then contribute directly to bulk charging the batteries to replace the energy used during auxiliary system operation. This all happens automatically, with no driver action required.
Through customer feedback and extensive testing, we know that improving battery performance translates to increased profitability of $1,000 to $4,000 per year based on:
- reduced fuel costs through reduced idling
- increased battery life (reduced battery replacement costs)
- reduced downtime and engine maintenance
- elimination of labor to maintain batteries on out-of-service buses
For every hour of idling saved, you will reduce fuel burn by one gallon. That means a school bus fleet of 50 buses that reduces its idling time by 30 minutes a day can save over $2,500 per year in fuel costs.
Battery life is extended to 3-4 years depending on battery type because the system ensures that batteries are never left in a discharged or partially charged state.
Based on the figures above, payback period for eNow solar is approximately 6-18 months.
Eligible for 26% solar tax credit (as of January 2021; consult your tax advisor).
The eNow system size for your buses depends on the number of auxiliary systems utilizing battery power. Please contact us for a quotation and information on an eNow system that will reduce your fleet’s operating and maintenance costs.