Minimizing costs and downtime are critical to the success of any fleet. Managers know all too well that failed liftgate and pallet jack batteries often mean sidelined drivers, missed deliveries, and expensive service calls.
Go Power!—a leading provider of solar and mobile power solutions since 1996—set the industry buzzing in 2015 with its innovative liftgate solar charging solution. Now Go Power! introduces its new and improved Dual Charging System (DCS) that recently captured the Green Innovation Award at the NTEA Work Truck Show 2019 in Indianapolis.
Liftgate batteries are a weak link in many trucking operations. These batteries are typically charged by the truck’s alternator, and voltage drop-off due to lengthy truck and trailer wiring runs can make effective charging almost impossible.
Frequent pick-up and delivery stops create even more challenges, as a truck’s alternator can’t run long enough to fully charge the liftgate batteries. For years, trucks were left idling at stops to complete charging—wasting expensive fuel in the process. Now environmental laws prohibit extended idling and have eliminated this option.
Go Power!’s first generation solar charging solution provided a simple, cost-effective way to address this battery charging issue. Solar Flex™ solar panels mounted flat on the trailer’s roof supplemented alternator power and kept liftgate batteries fully charged and healthy.
Available in both ready-made and custom formats, the Go Power! systems quickly won industry accolades for their ease of installation and their tough build quality that was able to meet the demands of commercial trucking operations.
To develop its next-generation solution, Go Power! reached out to its customers for feedback. The result, according to Sean O’Connor, division manager for Go Power! Fleet, is a solution that is even more versatile and robust than the original.
“The idea for the dual-purpose solar charging kit stemmed from a consistent problem that customers presented us with—electric pallet jacks that had trouble making it through the day and liftgate batteries that were prone to failure,” O’Connor says. “Our customers needed a solution for both liftgates and pallet jacks, so we created the Dual Charging System. We made it even easier to install, more versatile, and tougher.”
The next generation Dual Charging System (DCS) now includes:
- A lightweight, durable enclosure
- A manual solar disconnect switch
- Automatic 12- and 24-volt switching
- Cut-to-length wire for easier installation
- Top-of-the-line vibration resistance
- Improved functionality
FAST AND FLEXIBLE
Even with the upgrades and increased functionality of DCS, the Go Power! solution remains simple to install. Minimal vehicle modifications are required, and solar panels, wiring, and other components can be installed with basic tools. This allows for a quick, cost-efficient fleet retrofit to solar power.
Go Power!’s low-profile solar modules also take up much less room than conventional solar panels and are highly efficient, producing maximum power even in low light or overcast conditions.
The next-generation Go Power! DCS solution provides a wide range of financial and practical benefits for truck operators:
Extended battery life. Keeping batteries topped off and fully charged extends battery life from months to years.
Fuel savings. According to the American Trucking Association, trucks in the US consume more than 54 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually for business purposes, and fuel accounts for up to 20 percent of total operating costs—the second highest expense for carriers after labor. The Go Power! DCS solution eliminates the need for idling during liftgate operation, saving up to $40 per day per truck in fuel costs.
Less downtime. Failed liftgate and pallet jack batteries can sideline trucks and drivers for hours while they wait for a service call. DCS helps keep vehicles on the road, making on-time deliveries, and keeping customers satisfied.
Versatility. The first of its kind, DCS was engineered to charge both liftgate and pallet jack batteries with automatic switching depending on what is connected to the unit.
Innovation. Where previous charging methods used high AC voltages to charge pallet jacks, this is the first unit of its kind that uses direct current to charge. Go Power! uses a safer, more efficient method with DC components in the DCS unit.
Quick ROI. While partially charged batteries deteriorate quickly, Go Power!’s DCS solution keeps batteries fully charged for extended periods. Based on typical use, fleet operators using DCS can expect up to a at least 4 times improvement in the lifespan of their liftgate and pallet jack batteries and a return on investment in as little as a year.
Go Power! debuted its updated DCS solution in March at the 2019 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, and the Go Power! team was delighted to be one of the show’s recipients of the Green Innovation Award. This award, chosen by a panel of trade media representatives and fleet managers, recognizes leading innovative solutions that deliver positive environmental impacts.
Ray Collett accepted the award on behalf of Go Power!. “We’re very pleased with the award and with the response to DCS,” Collett says. “The feedback was excellent. There was a huge amount of interest in the benefits of solar liftgate charging and the enhancements we’ve made to our solution. DCS demonstrates Go Power!’s commitment to green technology, and we’re looking forward to coming back to the NTEA show in Indianapolis next year.”
While the British Columbia-based Go Power! team is excited about the trucking industry’s response to its solar Dual Charging System, they’re not stopping there. “We have a range of trucking solutions, not just for liftgates and pallet jacks, but for all-electric APU’s, small parcel delivery, and other applications,” O’Connor says. “Solar power is clean, efficient, and more cost-effective than ever. We believe in it, and we’ll continue to develop new and better solutions for the trucking industry.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find out more, visit www.gopowerfleet.com/dcs.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: MAY 2019 ISSUE
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