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.
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.