Today’s post dives into three key benefits solar panels provide to trailer refrigeration units (often referred to as reefers).
Solar panel benefits include:
Enabling trailer telematics
Improving system reliability
Reducing jump-start service calls
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Enable Trailer Telematics
Telematics such as Orbcomm, Geotab, or Novacom can be a significant parasitic load on your reefer battery, especially for idle trailers that periodically sit over weekends (learn more about solar solutions for telematics). It won’t be a question of if your reefer battery will be dead; it will be a question of when. A small 24W solar panel counteracts telematics loads and keeps the reefer battery healthy.
Improve System Reliability
Would you like to increase the number of days your reefer trailers work without issues?
We have a customer who reported an increase in their mean time between failures (MTBF) of 4.32% for all failures due to the addition of our solar panel.
Depending on the age of the reefer and how well the routine maintenance is completed, a reefer MTBF could range from six to 15 months.
A 4.32% increase in MTBF due to the addition of solar can pay for the panel over the lifetime of the reefer with reduced maintenance costs alone.
Reduce Jump Start Service Calls
Considering that a refrigeration technician can run $90/hr or losing a load can cost thousands of dollars, an inexpensive solar panel provides outstanding ROI for your fleet.
The time and cost for a jump-start service call is too high not to have a solar panel on your reefer.
A Carrier Trailer Refrigeration Unit (TRU)-Mount solar panel attaches directly to the reefer, avoiding creating holes or adding adhesive to a trailer. In addition, it matches the curve of the front of the reefer, eliminating any excess drag.
The Carrier TRU-Mount solar panel charges the battery with an integrated Fixed Power Point Tracking (FPPT) charge controller. Since the charge controller is integrated, the installation time is reduced, and the FPPT operates the panel at maximum power, providing more power to your battery (see graph below).