Co. Antrim based McCulla (Ireland) Ltd has taken delivery of 25 refrigerated trailers fitted with specialised solar panels designed for use on vehicles, supplied by fleet technology specialist Genie Insights.
The solar panels keep fridge batteries topped up to avoid costly breakdowns and to prolong the life of the battery.
The Genie panels represent a major advance in thin film solar cell technology, known as CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide), that allows the manufacture of robust and flexible photovoltaic (PV) panels which are better suited to use on vehicles than traditional glass solar panels.
Uniquely the panels supplied by Genie Insights, which are manufactured in the UK, are available in custom sizes to suit each operators’ individual needs.
Established over 50 years ago and operating from sites in Lisburn and Dublin, McCulla runs a fleet of over 100 trucks and 180 trailers including articulated trailers, refrigerated vans and rigid vehicles. McCulla provides ambient, chilled and frozen logistics solutions throughout Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe and has already worked with Genie Insights on fleet and workshop IT projects.
The 25 Schmitz Cargobull S.KO Cool Smart refrigerated semi-trailers are fitted with Carrier Transicold Vector HE 19 units and come equipped with Schmitz Cargobull’s TrailerConnect telematics system, providing McCulla with real-time data of the location and temperature conditions of each asset.
The trailers are built with Ferroplast panels that are resistant to moisture, ensuring payloads are kept safe and insulation levels are maintained.
In a move toward environmentally-friendly transport, McCulla also recently purchased Iveco Stralis NP gas-powered trucks, which will be fuelled with biomethane gas produced by McCulla’s own anaerobic digester plant.
Brian Beattie, operations director, McCulla says: “At McCulla we have made a strong commitment to the environment and the arrival of these new trailers with the latest technology from Schmitz Cargobull, Carrier and Genie Insights represents a further important step in the reduction of our carbon footprint.
“Crucially, the solar panels prolong battery life and improve battery reliability so they also save us downtime and money. Genie Insights has again proved to be an important partner in our transformation to a more efficient, safer and greener operator.”