We've finally managed to pull off the first phase of a project we've had on the drawing board for about a year now--the Purple Cow is now solar powered! We've tested out the system for four weeks--never touched the generator other than to show it wasn't plugged in! The system is currently powering our freezer, lights, and fans when we're out. Over the season we'll be adding capacity to be able to power other things on the truck as well. As far as we know, the Purple Cow is the only solar powered event truck in Virginia and one of only two solar powered ice cream trucks in the US.
WARNING (GEEK SPEAK): The system consists of two 100w polycrystalline solar panels, each producing about 35Ah of power per day; a voltage controller that converts 17-24 Vdc at varying amperage to 14 Vdc at available power to the battery pack; four 35Ah deep cycle batteries; a 2200W inverter; several fuses and breakers; and the stuff we plug into it! So far, we've run several hours at a stretch barely tickling the batteries. We've even tested it out on the on-board water heater with success! We're pretty proud of our geekdom and are looking forward to revealing the next round!