Bring on the burritos: Food trucks just got even better

There’s something about food trucks.

Maybe it’s that it gets you outside to enjoy a meal.

Or maybe it’s the novelty of hunting down your favorite meal on ...

Tagged: food trucks, Energy Efficiency, Green Energy

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Bring on the burritos: Food trucks just got even better

Customers stand outside the windows of a food truck.

A group of students recently collaborated with a chef to come up with a better food truck design. They named it the Synergy Truck. And we’ll forgive them for the name in light of the innovative solutions they brought to the food truck scene.

Key Points

  • Food trucks are fun and yummy but not very energy efficient.
  • A group of students designed a better food truck.
  • The truck generates energy from customers’ footsteps, has solar panels and wind turbines, and even generates light from the power of gravity. 

There’s something about food trucks.

Maybe it’s that it gets you outside to enjoy a meal.

Or maybe it’s the novelty of hunting down your favorite meal on wheels’ current location.

Or maybe it’s the fact that for some reason, having fried cheese layered around your taco seems like a perfectly reasonable option when it’s prepared by a hipster with a van.

Whatever the reason, there’s something fun about heading out for a good food truck meal.

But food trucks have a downside. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the birds chirping over the humming of diesel generators lined up behind the trucks. Transportable restaurants aren’t designed to be energy efficient.

Until now.

A group of students recently collaborated with a chef to come up with a better food truck design. They named it the Synergy Truck.

And we’ll forgive them for the name in light of the innovative solutions they brought to the food truck scene.

Here are a few of the Synergy Truck’s features:

Pavegen

A walkway along the length of the truck window, generating potential energy from consumers’ footsteps as they order their food.

GravityLight

Two GravityLights hanging to generate light from the power of gravity.

Insolar

Two Insolar umbrellas around the truck fitted with solar technology to enable phones and other USB devices to be charged, as well as solar panels on the roof of the truck to help power the kitchen appliances.

Capture Mobility

A Capture Mobility turbine on top of the truck to generate power from wind energy to help power the kitchen appliances.

Bio-bean

A grill unit using bio-bean’s carbon neutral Coffee Log briquettes to cook the food and bio-bean capture unit indicating the potential energy of the coffee waste collected.

MotionECO

A MotionECO capture unit indicating the potential energy of the waste cooking oil collected.

Check out this video for more details.

So when you need a reason to eat more fried-cheese-wrapped tacos, just remind yourself: Eating from food trucks tastes good and saves energy.

Green (salsa) never tasted so good.


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

Did you like this article? Here are some other articles that include: food trucks, Energy Efficiency, Green Energy

This new kind of food truck trend is a gas

It’s hard to beat a good food truck meal.

But what if instead of just making food, that truck was also running on your leftovers?

That’s what a fleet of 10 ...

Tagged: alternative fuel, biomethane gas, food trucks

Expand Article

This new kind of food truck trend is a gas

Food truck sign says fresh homemade street food

Each truck costs about 50 percent more to purchase than a traditional diesel truck. But because of the fuel savings, Waitrose predicts a lifetime savings of $100,000 per truck.

Key Points

  • A fleet of grocery store delivery trucks is running on food scraps.
  • The trucks use biomethane gas.
  • The gas is 50 percent cheaper than diesel fuel. 

It’s hard to beat a good food truck meal.

But what if instead of just making food, that truck was also running on your leftovers?

That’s what a fleet of 10 delivery trucks is doing.

British supermarket Waitrose is using fuel made from food scraps to power its engines. The biomethane gas is 35-40 percent cheaper than diesel fuel. Each truck costs about 50 percent more to purchase than a traditional diesel truck. But because of the fuel savings, Waitrose predicts a lifetime savings of $100,000 per truck.

The process of running trucks on food isn’t as straightforward as Doc putting garbage directly into his DeLorean’s Mr. Fusion. Instead, food waste is delivered to anaerobic digestion plants where the biomethane is captured and put on the national gas grid. Waitrose then tracks how much gas it uses and is given a certificate for renewable fuel.

This seems to be a win-win, with rotten food given a new purpose instead of filling up a landfill and companies saving on energy costs. 

Just when you thought you couldn’t love food trucks any more. 


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

Did you like this article? Here are some other articles that include: alternative fuel, biomethane gas, food trucks