The Trailer Sol (Pty) Ltd Helios FX is a solar powered anti-idle kit that has been specifically designed for the transport industry. Helios FX has been fully patented and registered by Trailer Sol (Pty) Ltd in South Africa and has the rights to register this patent in all Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) countries worldwide.
After continuous research into the utilization and distribution of power between truck and trailer, we came to the conclusion that a more efficient and effective power source could have multiple benefits for the transport and logistics industry.
Vehicles that have tail lifts and any after market products fitted to either the vehicle or the trailer have to utilize the vehicle’s batteries to power the tail lifts. These batteries are not designed to
supply continuous power but rather a short burst of “cranking” power. This in turn puts extra strain on the batteries and alternators, and reduces the expected lifespan of the batteries.
MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF USING VEHICLE STARTING BATTERIES TO POWER SYSTEMS
By fitting the solar powered anti-idle kit you now have a permanent clean supply of power for the tail lift. This leads to a reduction in engine wear and related components due to the decrease in idle time. Electrical related tail lift break downs are minimised as the power supply is coming from the solar powered anti-idle kit and not from the truck tractor.
The fuel savings cannot be overstated. With the reduction in idle time companies are able to increase their profit margins per fleet.
The additional benefits of the Helios FX is that the on-board power supply has the ability to run several systems simultaneously including surveillance cameras to monitor loading and off loading, and camera footage of all incidents. This decreases the shrinkage, theft of products, related incidents and provides valuable evidence for disciplinary hearings. When night time offloading is required, LED strip lighting helps to reduce damages. These LED strips can also be powered through the solar powered anti-idle kit.
HOW IT WORKS
The sun transmits energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation even in rainy or overcast conditions. When this radiation is absorbed by the solar cells a chemical reaction occurs causing rapid electron movement. Because of the way the cells are manufactured with layers of material with differing atomic structures, the electrons are forced to move in one direction creating direct current, or DC. The current then flows into a solar charger/inverter which will charge the 2 traction batteries which in turn supply a continuous 24 volt supply to the battery protector and then to the tail lift electric motor or the satellite tracking, LED lighting systems and surveillance cameras.
Benefits of the Helios FX System
Decrease in fuel consumption
Lower operating costs
Extending the lifespan of the vehicles engine, alternator and batteries
Reducing the “carbon footprint” of the company
Reduction in costs of damaged or lost Anderson plug and cables
Increase in safety and security as vehicle can be locked during loading and offloading
No risk of keys being locked in the vehicle accidentally
Trailer use is increased due to the trailer not requiring the horse to provide power to operate the tail lift.
Trailer can be left at the store and collected later once the offloading has been completed
The battery bank has a reserve power supply of approximately 48 hours. Tail lift can operate day or night
Solar panel can charge in cloudy, overcast or rainy conditions when the charge rate drops to around 60%
The battery pack can provide DC power to run auxiliary equipment on the trailers:
LED Lighting: Additional interior LED strip or down lights to provide lighting for the inside of the trailer for evening and early morning loading and offloading. Lighting will automatically be controlled via internally mounted door switches
Satellite Tracking Units: Satellite tracking units can be added to trailers to provide a means of tracking the trailer as trailers have a permanent power supply. Satellite temperature sending units that remotely monitor the set temperature of refrigerated trailers and their contents, can be added, ensuring products are at the right temperature
Remote Docking System Units: The RDS unit requires constant power supply to run when reversing which will signal the driver via visible and audio warning.
Surveillance Cameras: add surveillance cameras to monitor the inside the vehicle and the goods while being offloaded.
HELIOS FX FUEL SAVINGS
Trailerpro, an independent survey company, was tasked by Trailer Sol (Pty) Ltd to carry out a fuel consumption “on idle” survey to establish:
Fuel consumption on idle (500 rpm)
Fuel consumption on 900 rpm
Effects of over idle
The tests were carried out on a number of different engine sizes: 13lt, 12lt, 6lt and a 4.25lt diesel engine, all at different ages and mileages. The tests were carried out with an engine at full operating temperature and idle set to manufacturers specifications. The average figure given by the manufacturer was a figure of 10% of the total engine capacity. The total litres of fuel consumption ob idle equates to the saving per vehicle.
The tests were concluded as shown in the table below: