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New Solar Powered Air Conditioning System Cools Beverage Trucks

Coca-Cola beverage trucks may get solar air conditioningThe Coca-Cola company has been introducing more electric vehicles and other low-emissions trucks into its massive fleet, and now researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University are developing yet another alternative energy option. The team has been working on a solar powered air conditioning system that would significantly reduce or eliminate beverage delivery truck emissions related to cooling.

Solar Powered Air Conditioning for Beverage Trucks

Polytechnic has been collaborating on the Solar Energy System project with Green Power Industrial Ltd. and Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong, and a prototype truck is in operation on campus. It consists of a rooftop system that collects solar energy and stores it in a battery, so the use of alternative energy can continue during inclement weather. The battery storage system is also almost a necessity for using solar energy in high density urban delivery driving, when you consider that a delivery truck may frequent roads that are shaded by tall buildings, to say nothing of getting stuck in traffic, especially in a tunnel.

Solar Power and Air Conditioning

Solar air conditioning almost sounds like an oxymoron, but not when you consider that it simply refers to an air conditioning system that runs on electricity harvested from solar energy. The U.S. Navy caught on to the solar air conditioning concept several years ago, and commissioned some test models from a company called GreenCore.  Like other branches of the armed forces, the Navy has also been installing solar power parking lots, which conceivably could be used to power up electric vehicles and provide solar energy for on board air conditioning.

Image: Coca-Cola truck by thomaswanhoff on

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Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.


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