A start-up from the Canadian province of Newfoundland is decreasing carbon emissions in freight trucks by using solar energy.
The team, known as Viridis, conceived the concept during a hackathon managed by Hack Frost NL, a student-led initiative at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
During the hackathon, entrepreneurial groups were given a challenge and had a weekend to develop a solution. Viridis emerged as the winner with its idea of cutting carbon emissions in the delivery industry.
Their innovation, named Solaris, would harness solar energy to power the auxiliary power unit of transport trucks. This unit is responsible for functions unrelated to propulsion, such as heating, cooling, and lighting.
Solaris could be retrofitted onto existing trucks, replacing diesel fuel as the power source for the auxiliary power unit. Moreover, truck owners could install Solaris themselves, with solar panels lining the trailer.
Moustafa El-sisy, a member of the Viridis team, mentions that each unit of Solaris would cost approximately $3,000. However, with fuel savings, the cost can be recouped within six months.
As a result, Solaris is a feasible option for trucking companies. It not only increases profits but also helps truckers comply with potential future regulations. El-sisy emphasizes the positive and tangible environmental impact of Solaris.
Jacob Head, a senior computer engineering student at Memorial University of Newfoundland and co-founder of Viridis, states that the company’s primary objective is to contribute to the global goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This aligns with the initiatives of both Canada and over 120 countries worldwide. Head points out the urgency of finding solutions to address this challenge and emphasizes that Viridis’ innovation can make a significant contribution.
Liam Flanagan, the program manager of Ready Talent, a group within TechNL, expresses support for progressive projects like Solaris. He is excited about the potential of technology-based solutions created by local students and entrepreneurs to solve environmental issues.
Flanagan has also observed an increase in students interested in tech entrepreneurship and wants more students to recognize the viability of starting a business.
Kyle Shal, a member of Viridis, expresses enthusiasm for transforming the project into a prototype and engaging with clients to introduce it into the industry.
Shal recently told reporters at SaltWire, “In the later stages of the game, we’d like to not only expand and partner with larger trucking companies but also expand to larger industries outside of just trucking.”
For its pioneering work in advancing both solar energy and clean driving, we have named Viridis our clean energy sustainability champion of the week. Well done!
Image Source: Joshua Seth Hill, https://twitter.com/OurAmericanMind/status/1421570473956057089