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Tindo Solar-Charged Electric Bus Enters Service in Adelaide

The Adelaide (Australia) City Council has put the Tindo bus (earlier post)—an electric bus that is recharged using solar energy generated by a solar photovoltaic system that is installed on the roof of the new Adelaide Central Bus Station—into service.

The Tindo bus. Photo Courtesy of and Copyright to Panache Photography.

Tindo has successfully completed its trials, and today begins a new era for environmentally sustainable public transport. It’s an exciting day for the Council and the City.

—Lord Mayor Michael Harbison

Built by New Zealand company Designline International, the Tindo solar electric bus uses 11 Zebra modules for energy storage and has an operational range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) between charges under typical urban operational conditions.

The solar PV system on the roof of the new bus station uses solar panels supplied by BP Solar, generating almost 70,000 kWh of electricity each year. Much of the A$550,000 funding for the solar PV system was provided by the Adelaide Solar City program, with the Council also committing significant funding.



Australia is definitely a country that could make use of solar power.


Have they gone off grid then ?

Healthy Breeze

Let's see, a bus's roof probably is probably about 3 meters by 9-12 meters, so 27-36 square meters of solar receiving area. Assume 600 watts of average energy hitting the roof for 12 hours per day. 7.2Kw-hours * %10 efficiency * 27 square meters = 19.4 net Kw-hours per day to the batteries. That's...what, ten minutes/day propulsive power? Double the efficiency of the cells and you get 20 minutes or so?

I guess if the cells are cheap enough it's a good thing. Perhaps it could save 6 megawatt-hours per year, or so. How much is that much electricity worth?


It says "...roof of the new Adelaide Central Bus Station",
not "roof of the new Adelaide Central Bus".


They say 70,000 kwh per year. There are about 2000 sun hours per year, so that is around a 35 kw system. They probably got it installed for less than $10 per watt, but even at that it is a $350k system.

At 10 cents per kwh you would get $7k per year of electricity. This would be about a 50 year payback, not so good. The system probably costs less and their power sells for more which would make it a bit more attractive.

John Taylor

I notice they only bought one buss and solar panels for one building. 200 km will get a buss through an 8 hour shift, but not much further.

Token efforts are nice and make it look like something is being done ... meanwhile ... the rest of the fleet and the rest of the city belch CO2 ...

why do ppl diss ideas and say the yare bad i think this is a great idea

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