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Here Comes the Sun: Bringing Solar Power to NASCAR
Carl Edwards

As the Senior Director of Market Development at Suniva, I have the good fortune of working with many of our customers on new ways to incorporate solar photovoltaics (PV) into their business. Clean, green energy from the sun is a natural fit with many organizations’ overall sustainability strategies. I’ve seen a real uptake in the United States now that solar has become so much more affordable. That’s personally gratifying since I have a passion for implementing cleantech to sustainability.

Last fall, UPS asked us to brainstorm some concepts to fit into their sustainability focus. UPS has been a longstanding customer of Suniva’s, but that was always on the more straightforward, rooftop solar arrays on UPS buildings around the nation.

Click on image to view full size

Click on image to view full size

The chance to custom design a system for UPS Trackside Services that saves gasoline (the generator will run much less), money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions was something we hadn’t done on a vehicle before, but our engineers were more than eager to jump right in. The Suniva team designed the trailer prototype to have PV panels on the roof, batteries and a DC power system in the crow’s nest and a lot of new LED lighting all around. At the start of Race Week in Daytona, we unveiled a fully functioning “Solar Hybrid Uninterruptable Power System” on the big UPS Trackside Services trailer. Check out this infographic to see how it works.

There’s also a cool new solar powered mini delivery truck racing around delivering packages to all the UPS customers here. (There’s quite a difference between the quiet solar electric delivery truck working around the garages and the heart pounding engines of the NASCAR racers whirling around the track.) The PV powered mini truck will run extra miles without needing to recharge due to the Suniva panel on the roof.

No doubt, NASCAR has been working hard to implement recycling and several other green initiatives across their racing season. But this unique approach launched by UPS is generating a lot of buzz. We even supplied PV/battery power to the kiosk next to us when their gas generator had to get hauled off for repair. That was a great sight – a chord running from the UPS Trackside Logistics trailer to keep the neighboring kiosk powered up with clean green energy.

What green initiatives have inspired you?  Let us know in the comments below.

Category: Environment, Sports Talk
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    Comments [2]

  1. Thumbs Up NASCAR for trying really hard to incorporate eco friendly ways to go about your business. More companies should follow suit.

  2. Anthony- This is wonderful!! I would like to chat with you about the upcoming UCI Road World Cycling Championships that is coming to the US for the first time in 20+ years. Companies are loving the way this event is helping them to leverage sustainability practices, health & wellness, mobility etc. I would love to have you apart of the conversation.

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