Carrier Transicold has expanded its line of Thin Film Flexible Solar Panels to include 18.5 watt (1.2 amp) and 9.24 watt (0.6 amp) solar panels, in addition to its original 28 watt (1.8 amp) panel.
The solar panels are designed specifically to maintain TRU battery charge and can be installed on the roofs of trailers and truck bodies chilled by Carrier Transicold or other systems.
Solar panels can offset the draw from accessory electrical devices, significantly reducing callout charges related to the battery. Solar panels can also help conserve fuel by minimizing the need to run the TRU engine to charge the battery, the company adds.
Jason Forman, marketing manager, Performance Parts, Carrier Transicold, says the amorphous silicon, or a-Si, solar cell technology provides high performance in environments where daylight may be indirect or low.”
“Unlike some other solar technologies that require several days of sun soaking to bring the panels up to full functionality, a-Si panels deliver maximum performance without sun soaking,” he says. “They also begin charging at a higher voltage at a lower angle of light than some other technologies, allowing charging over a longer portion of the day, which is especially helpful in northern regions and in the winter.”
When exposed to daylight, the solar panels continuously charge TRU batteries, ensuring ample power for system starts and helping to avoid issues and costs associated with a weak or dead battery. Refrigeration system batteries are often tapped to power additional trailer electronics such as telematics devices, fuel-level sensors, interior lighting and other accessories. If the TRU has not been operated for some time and these accessories continue to draw power while the unit is off, its battery might not have enough charge to start the engine.