Go-Ahead Singapore has launched proof-of-concept (POC) trials of ultra-thin solar panels fitted on the roof of the two buses for trial. This is in-line with Go-Ahead Singapore’s continual efforts to be a responsible public transport operator by implementing solutions to support sustainable transportation.
The trial, running for the first time on buses locally, aims to evaluate the buses’ performance and effectiveness to harness solar energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel consumption. With Singapore’s climate being in the tropics, this allows for a higher intensity of solar radiation and more solar photovoltaic arrays to be formed. Therefore, more solar energy can be stored and used efficiently.
The utilisation of solar energy also seeks to improve vehicle efficiency. The solar energy saved by the ultra-thin solar panels will be used to charge the battery of the buses, reducing the load on the alternator which in turn reduces the load on the engine.
Mr Andrew Thompson, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Singapore, said, “If the outcome of the trial is positive, this would offer an additional option in our drive towards a more sustainable public transport system. Go-Ahead Singapore will continue to work closely with the Land Transport Authority on the different sustainability and green solutions for our buses.”
These buses have undergone rigorous safety assessments by the Land Transport Authority and have been approved for public road trials. For the POC trials, ultra-thin solar panels, mounted on the roof of the buses, are used instead of the conventional solar panels as these are light weight, flat and flexible. During the six-month trial, the ultra-thin solar panels will initially be inspected thoroughly every week for two months, followed by a review of the inspection schedule.
The trials, which will run until September 2021, will be conducted on bus service number 15. Commuters will be able to travel onboard the ultra-thin solar panel fitted buses through Pasir Ris, Tampines and Marine Parade. For easy identification of these buses, they have been wrapped with special livery to create awareness amongst the public.