McBurney Transport Group is to fit 146 new refrigerated trailers with solar panels, following a year-long trial.
The 50W panels, which are supplied by Genie Insights, are fitted to trailer roofs with the aim of keeping fridge batteries fully charged, so preventing battery-related breakdowns.
McBurney Transport Group, which in December was sold to Danish firm DFDS for £140m, fitted its first solar panel to a trailer in 2021. This test trailer operated all over the UK for 12 months, and throughout the trial, multiple downloads were taken from the solar panel’s charge controller. This data was analysed with the haulier’s asset management system, Freeway Fleet Systems. It confirmed that whilst there was a draw being taken from the battery when the fridge was not running, the solar panel was putting enough charge back in to counteract this consumption.
By preventing the battery from draining completely and having to be jump-started, it prolongs the life of the battery. So, according to Genie Insights, not only will McBurney Group see a cost saving from reduced breakdowns, it will also save on premature battery replacements.
Sammy Hamill, fleet manager at McBurney Transport Group, explained the company’s decision to fit the panels to all new trailers. He said: “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.”