Complex Made Simple

Solar-powered tech is cutting costs and reducing emissions in the UAE’s logistics sector

Carrefour has adopted trucks that utilize solar-powered refrigerator units for carrying cooled goods.

The solar-powered units will no longer source their power from the vehicle's engine The solar-charged batteries can keep the refrigerator unit running for 4 hours The solar panels charge the batteries while driving, idling and even while parked

Transportations firm Massar Solutions, which offers a range of services across transportation and mobility solutions to government, semi-government and private sector clients, has unveiled their latest pilot project in refrigerated transportation. 

Commissioned by Carrefour, these new trucks will allow the supermarket chain to cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions through the use of solar panels that power the refrigerator unit of the vehicle. Where the chiller unit normally sources its power from the engine, this unit now makes use of the abundance of sun rays in the UAE. 

As part of the pilot, Massar will monitor the reduction in fuel and the overall benefit to both Massar and consumers. 

Peter Cecil Retief, Acting CEO at Massar Solutions, told AMEinfo: “Massar Solutions is committed to ensuring that our customers and partners have modern, sustainable and beneficial mobility solutions. As one of our key partners, Carrefour’s strategy of sustainable transportation was a clear objective set by their management team. Our decision to review all aspects of our Logistics service to the Carrefour operation was an excellent opportunity to see how we could align to this vision. Adding this first-to-market solar solution has been an enriching process and takes Massar Solutions one step closer to achieving our long-term objectives. As a proudly local company, we will continue to find innovative solutions to align to the UAE’s Vision 2030 strategy.”

Massar Solutions has shared some information regarding their trucks that are equipped with solar-powered refrigerater units. 

SOLAR POWER SYSTEM:

Day Daytime:               

Photovoltaic cells will supply power for the system and will charge the refrigerator’s’ 4 batteries. 

During Nighttime:              

The batteries can supply power for the system up to 4 hours when the vehicle engine is completely switched off, and can supply power for the system continuously when the vehicle engine is switched on, While the truck is parked and or loading/unloading, it is advised to plug the solar unit to an electric source to ensure the batteries hold their charge. The solar system continues to charge the batteries even while parked or switched off, ensuring they are charged at all times. 

FUEL CONSUMPTION: 

Normally the engine-powered refrigerator unit consumes about 1-1.3 litres/hour to maintain a temperature of 0-5 degrees celsius, depending on the the ambient temperature. 

With the solar-powered system, the refrigerator unit consumes 0 litres/hour during the daytime and less than 0.10 litres/hour during the nighttime, where the vehicle’s engine supports the solar system and batteries to maintain the required cooling temperature.