Fleet technology supplier Genie Insights said it had taken advantage of new solar panel technology to develop a range of custom-designed panels for commercial vehicles.

The solar products use Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) technology instead of glass-based panels, meaning they are lightweight, flexible and robust without fracturing or cracking.

It said the panels charge batteries powering equipment including fridge units, tail lifts and electrical ancillary equipment.

“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,” said Billy Dougan, consultant at Genie Insights.

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“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.”

The company said the panels are also highly efficient and generate energy even in low light conditions: “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,” said Matt Reeve, Genie Insights director.

“Even in low light, our panels keep fridge batteries sufficiently charged to avoid battery related breakdowns.”