Fleet technology supplier Genie Insights has developed a range of solar products custom-designed for use on commercial vehicles. The panels charge batteries powering equipment including fridge units, tail lifts and an array of electrical ancillary equipment. The County Antrim company has taken advantage of new solar panel technology that allows easier customisation of panels for application on virtually any commercial vehicle or trailer configuration.
Genie Insights’ solar products, which are produced in conjunction with a UK solar panel manufacturer, use the very latest in CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide) technology instead of traditional glass-based panels. As well as being lightweight and flexible, the panels are extremely powerful and highly efficient, even generating energy in low light conditions. The panel technology is particularly robust because it flexes with the vehicle body, and because it doesn’t contain glass, there is no risk of fractures or cracking. The unique construction also means the panels continue to work even if damaged or partially covered.
Genie Insights offer tailor-made solar panels as well as a range of standardised products for easy installation on popular vehicle and trailer configurations. Offering a full design, installation and back up service with a 5-year performance warranty, Genie Insights can also configure panels for any type of moveable asset that relies on battery power.
“The latest CIGS technology allows panels to be lighter weight, slimmer and more efficient than traditional solar solutions,” says Billy Dougan of Genie Insights. “This technology clearly has major benefits but during early trials we realised that a one-size-fits-all solution would have limited appeal as vehicle and trailer configurations vary so much. We have therefore spent 18 months working on a flexible production process with our manufacturing partner to be able to deliver customised products to both trailer manufacturers and operators.”
Solar panels on commercial vehicles have been shown to deliver fuel savings, but Genie Insights believes the greatest benefits come from improvements in battery performance and reliability. As a minimum, the panels keep batteries trickle-charged to prevent loss of power and to minimise the risk of expensive and inconvenient breakdowns, and in some applications can even generate enough energy to be the main source of power. Battery health is also maintained and longevity maximised.
“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,” Matt Reeve of Genie Insights comments.