Following a 12 month trial, McBurney Transport Group have announced that it will fit the roofs of all new refrigerated trailers with 50W solar panels provided by business management consultant, Genie Insights, to charge fridge batteries as well as prevent battery related breakdowns and costs.
In 2021, one of the transport company’s trailers was fitted with a 50W solar panel and ran with the fleet for a year as part of the trial. The trailer with the solar panel attached operated across the UK and Ireland - including remote northerly regions - through varied weather conditions.
Multiple downloads were taken from the solar panel’s charge control at key points throughout the trial (including over the winter) offering visibility of the fridge battery’s state of charge. The data from the solar panel allowed the McBurney Group to determine that although the battery did draw energy whilst the fridge was off, it was generating enough energy back to counteract this consumption.
An additional benefit identified by the trial was that no fridge battery related costs were recorded in the same period. Furthermore, the solar panels will be able to prolong battery life by preventing it from completely draining, negating the need to jump start the battery.
Therefore, installing solar panels will allow the transport group financial saving drawn from reduced breakdowns and premature battery replacements.
Following the success of the trial, the company is now in the process of fitting 146 new refrigerated trailers with Genie Insights’ solar panel kits.
Fleet manager at McBurney Transport Group, Sammy Hamill commented: “This is just another example of how we have worked closely with Genie Insights to improve the performance of our fleet and uptime for our customers, which is ultimately what we are always striving towards as a business. We also like to be at the forefront of trialling new technologies, and we were surprised to see how such a simple and cost-effective solution could provide the answer to the battery related issues we know are becoming increasingly common in the refrigerated transport industry.”