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Somerset's solar ice-cream dream

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Somerset's solar ice-cream dream

When do most of us generally crave an ice-cream? When the sun is out of course. There is many an ice-cream van on the road, but in Somerset there is one with a difference – the ice-cream is kept cool by a much more pleasant energy source than a diesel engine. This van has been adapted to include solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on its roof!

Last summer, David Baker took his prototype solar powered ice-cream van to the streets of Somerset. It is the UK’s first solar powered ice-cream van. David states that provided the sun is shining on a clear day, the van can run on 100 per cent solar power. The solar PV panels provide power to freezers, fridges, internal lighting and can store additional energy in batteries onboard. The van itself is diesel powered, but when David reaches his vending location, the engine is turned off and the van operates solely on solar power. According to David his van is saving him £15 per day in fuel.

He is currently planning a £1 million investment to replace his entire fleet of 11 vans with clean energy versions.

David Baker from Somerset with his solar powered ice-cream van. Picture courtesy of: https://www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk/news/16406338.somersets-styles-ice-cream-creates-uks-first-solar-powered-ice-cream-van/

This may not seem like a landmark moment, but it does show how climate change is being acknowledged and exploited in even the most contradictory of situations. David saw an opportunity to keep his ice-cream cold using the sun, which has saved him money and reduced his carbon footprint - and that of the ice-creams! 

Find out more about solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the domestic solar section of our website.

Domestic solar
Darren McMahon

Darren McMahon
Project Manager

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