The Chennai-based Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, the truck and bus making arm of Daimler Trucks, is driving clean energy gains for the world’s largest truckmaker.
Over the past three years, the installed solar power generation capacity at its Oragadam plant has increased from 0.8 to 3.3 Megawatts. With three solar photovoltaic plants, installed strategically to harness solar power throughout the year, the commissioned installation has the capacity to electrify over 800 houses in India. The new solar power field, built on previously idle stretches of land within the test track area, consists of more than 10,000 new polycrystalline photovoltaic panels. As a result of the upgrade, the share of solar power is now covering up to 28 percent of the average daytime electrical power need of DICV’s operations on site.
DICV, which produces light, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the Indian market under the BharatBenz brand name, announced setting up of its first solar power project within its plant at Oragadam in February 2013. The solar power project used the roof structure of DICV’s Parts Logistics Warehouse. More than 1000 poly crystalline solar PV modules, each with a capacity of 280W, were installed. The total installed capacity at the time was 300 KW. The modules, which are connected in series, are formed as strings and connected to 15 units of 17kW transformer-less string inverters. DC power produced by solar PV modules is converted into AC power by the string inverters and fed into 415V bus available at the premises. The solar PV modules are installed on a specially designed roof structure, which is oriented south in direction, in order to increase efficiency.
Mercedes-Benz Hellas, Greece
Thanks to solar energy, Mercedes-Benz Hellas generates approximately 27 percent of its total electricity needs from the sun. Since 2013, the company saves 324 tons of carbon dioxide every year. The solar panels deliver 450 Megawatt-hours electric energy per year. With this amount, about 130 private households could be provided with electric energy. The solar panels are installed on a surface area of 4,000 square metres and contribute to a decrease of usage of electric energy from the public electricity utility and also to reduce carbon emissions. The energy produced is supplied to the distribution network of electric power and is accordingly handled. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Hellas uses the solar panels to charge the ‘smart for two’ electric drive car fleet.
Daimler Logistics Center, Hannover
At the Daimler Logistics Center in Hannover, more than 90 percent of the electricity used by the Daimler logistics center in Hanover will come from the facility’s own photovoltaic system. The system, which was commissioned in January 2018, will generate approximately 450,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per calendar year in the future. This amount corresponds to the annual energy consumption of about 100 four-person households. By generating its own energy, the plant will save approximately 251 tons of CO₂ per year.
Global Logistics Center, Germersheim
In Germersheim, 5,060 solar modules spread over an area of 15,000 square metres, will produce more than 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year. The new facility will reduce annual CO₂ emissions by 755,000 kilograms. The company is using almost all of the electricity generated itself.
Plans call for additional photovoltaic systems to be set up at the logistics centers in Cologne, Nuremberg, Mainz, and Reutlingen in the next few years.