In a move to reduce energy consumption and make public transport ‘greener’, the Polish city of Lublin has installed flexible thin film solar cells from Midsummer on the roofs of its municipal buses.

The Municipal Transport Company (MPK) in Lublin has installed photovoltaic thin film CIGS solar panels on its buses' roofs. This will decrease the buses' alternators load, leading to lower fuel consumption and bringing both economic and ecological profits.

Potential savings are estimated at up to 8,000 zloty (€1,900) per bus per year. The system’s payback period is estimated at two years, taking into consideration only the fuel consumption reduction and not the overall environmental benefits. After two years, the solar energy solution will create compound surpluses for MPK for the remainder of the panels’ life span.

The Lublin solar bus project will initially run for two years, after which it will be evaluated. The first solar bus is already in operation.

The thin film solar cells have been manufactured by Midsummer, a Swedish supplier of equipment for cost effective manufacturing of CIGS thin film flexible solar cells, and installed on MPK’s fleet of Scania buses. The project is a cooperation between MPK and the Lublin University of Technology.

MPK Lublin Ltd. is the biggest public transport carrier in Lublin with a fleet of 60 trolleybuses and 215 buses. Lublin is a city on eastern Poland with a population of approximately 350,000 inhabitants.