A new range of custom-designed solar panels for commercial vehicles has been introduced by Genie Insights. The panels utilise Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) technology in place of traditional glass-based panels, to provide a solution that is lightweight, flexible and resistant to fracturing and cracking.
CIGS is a bonded semiconductor that, thanks to its high absorption characteristics, can take the form of a thin film mounted to a flexible substrate. The panels can be thinner and more easily formed than traditional glass solar panels, without negatively impacting efficiency.
The company states that the panels are ideal for maintaining charge of batteries used topower equipment such as tail lifts, fridge units and other ancillaries, and continue to work efficiently at low light levels. Genie Insights claims that flat batteries are a common problem for operators of refrigerated fleets. It collected real-world data from one of its clients, which showed that its fleet of 175 refrigerated trailers experienced more than £18,000 of battery-related charges per annum. Fitment of a CIGS solar panel to the roof of each trailer provides the battery with a consistent low level charge equal to the battery’s natural discharge rate, enabling systems to remain fully charged.
The panels’ flexible manufacturing process makes the units suitable for a wide range of vehicle and trailer configurations and can be customisable to individual customer requirements.
Matt Reeve, Genie Insights director, said, “We have now sold more than 1,000 panels into the UK and Irish commercial vehicle market so have the data to prove that our product performs even in the most northernly climate over the winter months. Even in low light, our panels keep fridge batteries sufficiently charged to avoid battery related breakdowns.”