ABOUT PHOTO: The 57-passenger Setra with rooftop solar panels has been reconfigured for an interior floor plan with 52 seats and some table seatings.
SUMMARY: The solar powering system retrofitted to a 52-passenger Setra motorcoach can handle onboard electronics with the engine off.
CHICAGO — To help transportation companies nationwide comply with strict anti-idling laws, Gary Bauer of BAUER’S INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION in San Francisco introduced a bus featuring the new Solar Hybrid Bus Powering System at the BusCon Conference & Expo last week.
The Solar Bus consists of four thin film solar panels that run the length of the bus and charge an on-board battery bank. When the bus engine is off, the batteries power the air-conditioning and wireless connectivity equipment, enabling the buses to effectively meet anti-idling standards without compromising passenger comfort.
The new prototype will have a smaller overall footprint of the assembly, so it will be able to fit in a variety of bus sizes, said Bauer, who has seen solid results since he started running the bus in his fleet in January.
Benefits of the new bus include the ability to use the sun to power buses as well as run all interior components, such as auxiliary heat and air conditioning, Bauer said. He also stressed that there are grants available for the conversions to solar power.
Bauer said the new bus may also provide a savings of up to $14,000 in fuel per bus per year and reduce up to 345,000 grams of NOx per bus per year while conforming to the Airborne Toxic Control Measure. The law states that a vehicle cannot idle for more than five minutes, and only 30 seconds when parked within 100 feet of a school.
Source: Alex Roman, Metro Magazine