Solar Panels To The Rescue For Emergency Vehicles

As solar panel technology becomes cheaper and more efficient, companies are breaking away from the rigid, rooftop variety, and experimenting with more portable versions. In the past year, we’ve seen solar panels implemented on everything from ski helmets to backpacks. Now PowerFilm, a developer of thin flexible solar panels, is partnering with Streamlight, a manufacturer of high-performance lighting equipment, to produce a solar panel specially designed to provide additional power to the batteries in emergency vehicles.

The two companies hope that their collaboration will help meet the needs of modern emergency vehicles, like police cars, which are running an ever-increasing number of electronic devices, and placing a heavy burden on the vehicles existing electrical system.

solar emergency vehicles

image via Shutterstock

The SolarStream will feature a simple to install, 14-watt solar panel that provides enough supplemental power to the battery to ensure that the vehicle will start when needed and reducing the need to idle the vehicle – saving fuel and reducing emissions. The solar panel utilizes an optimized adhesive to mount to the vehicle and is wired directly into the electrical system to provide a constant trickle charge to the battery.

Through the new partnership, PowerFilm will manufacture the customized solar panels to Streamlight for integration with its current lighting products, which are already designed for law enforcement, firefighting, professional automotive, military, industrial and outdoor applications. Streamlight will then market and distribute the panel through their existing distribution networks in the emergency response marketplace.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog


  • Reply April 12, 2012

    Michael Rousseau

    I’ve been using panels in my vehicles for years now. Works great, specially in the winter when the cold can slow a battery down. Also takes care of parasitic draw when the vehicles are sitting around for a few days. I also replace batteries a lot less often now.

  • Reply April 14, 2012

    Eren Long

    What an ingenious concept!    Renewable Energy for emergency vehicles….I am sitting here thinking to myself, what took us so long to get here. 


  • Reply October 16, 2012


    I wonder how long it will take for that product to become obsolete. Either there will be advances in solar panel technology, or they will find even more efficient ways to power the lights.

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