AirRoad's New Solar Power System Improves Operational Efficiency and Helps Reduce Its Carbon Footprint

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AirRoad, the parent company of Australia's respected national delivery company AirRoad Direct, has successfully installed a modern solar power system at its Derrimut, Victoria site to offset its electricity use and reduce its carbon emissions.

AirRoad Direct

The greenhouse gas emission savings from AirRoad's new system are calculated to be around 43.82 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year—a significant amount that creates an impact in reducing the company's carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

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During the roundtable discussion held by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in February 2012, the fact that the Australian transport sector accounts for 14% of the country’s national greenhouse gas emissions was discussed. In an effort to help reduce their own carbon emissions, national freight company AirRoad recently installed a new 20.01 kilowatt solar power system which would deliver clean electricity to the company's new warehouse and office facility in Derrimut, Victoria.

Utilising the latest in German technology, the solar power system is estimated to produce around 30,431 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, thus helping to offset the electricity acquired through conventional sources and consumed within the facility. The greenhouse gas emission savings from AirRoad's new system are calculated to be around 43,820 kilograms or 43.82 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year—a significant amount that creates an impact in reducing the company's carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

AirRoad Direct's adoption of green technology fits in perfectly with industry-led initiatives highlighted during NTC's roundtable talks, such as the Victorian Transport Association recently partnering with the Environment Protection Authority to conduct a pilot program called EcoStation. This program aims to unite various elements of the Victorian road freight supply chain—including freight operators, equipment providers, and the freight customers themselves—in observing efficiency improvements, saving fuel costs, and reducing emissions and contributions to air pollution.

In addition to reducing emissions, based on an electricity purchasing rate of $0.25 (multiplied by 30,431 kWh of the saved electricity), AirRoad Direct will be able to save about $8,000 per year.

“At AirRoad, we are always looking at new ways to increase operational efficiencies, while reducing any negative impact that we may have on the environment," explains AirRoad's Managing Director Malcolm Thorpe. "It started with our custom trailers, and now we have installed a leading solar power system that not only saves us money on electricity, but also helps reduce our clients’ and our carbon footprint.”

The solar power system is composed of the following elements: 87x230 watt poly-crystalline solar panels, two three-phase inverters, one data communications device or web box, and one public display monitor.

AirRoad Direct's commitment to environmental sustainability doesn't stop at utilising green electricity. The parent express delivery company's engineers have long been experimenting with ways to achieve superior efficiency, such as creating better trailer designs that feature greater stability and a capacity to take more freight with the same amount of fuel. Innovative designs further improve the fuel efficiency of AirRoad Direct's transport vehicles, and its warehouse facilities have begun using hybrid forklifts and installed sensor lights to reduce fuel and power consumption.

AirRoad successfully completed its first carbon audit back in 2008. It also won the Lloyd's List Green Transport Award and the Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Environmental Excellence Award (High Commendation) in the same year.

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