You read it right: ESCALATE will test photovoltaic panels and novel charging solutions to enhance HGV performance. Curious to know more? Then keep on reading below!

As part of its efforts, ESCALATE will test photovoltaic panels and novel charging solutions to enhance HGV performance. Keep on reading and take a closer look at some of the elements of the project pilots, which are the potential to install photovoltaic panels on the test vehicles, as well as the infrastructure related to the charging of HGVs.

  • Solar panels on HGVs 

Solar panels on passenger BEVs are already an established solution, as shown by commercial cars like Hyundai’s IONIQ 5, which can extend the range of up to 2000km per year if driven in sunny conditions. Considering that a European 3-axle semi-trailer has a roof size of more than 30 sqm, it would provide plenty of space to install solar panels. Such integration would enable to limit the power request from the grid network during the collective recharging of vehicles. Nevertheless, one cannot (currently) predict the efficiency of such a system under real conditions.

Furthermore, adaptive energy management is based on the storage capability as well as the extra cost. Therefore, the ESCALATE consortium will first consider the selection and integration of the PV cells and their control model into the high-level energy management algorithm.

  • Charging of HGVs 

The last physical aspect to be tested by ESCALATE is the charging infrastructure, which also requires thermal management of the charging station to guarantee rapid charging speeds. Several providers of these so-called ‘high power charger’ stations have already entered the market and provide solutions with liquid-cooled power cables, such as ABB. This latest infrastructure solution allows for capacities of up to 350kW, which is double the speed of the fastest passenger vehicle charging solutions.

Since optimal charging speeds are often not achieved, especially during the last percentages of the battery capacity, one can expect that such fast-chargers can fill up an e-truck battery of 600kW in two hours. Therefore, ESCALATE will develop smart fast-charging algorithms to minimize the charging time and grid impact.