Solar power is easier to install than ever before thanks to the latest innovation: the Roll-Array. John Hingley and his team at the renewable energy company Renovagen designed a high power PV array that rolls out like a carpet. This flexible and easy-to-transport instant microgrid has the capacity to bring alternative energy to places we never thought possible. Check out the video below to see it in action.
The Roll-Array is easily towable by a standard 4Ã—4 vehicle such as a Land Rover. When connected to the back of the car, the flexible solar panels are pulled out of a spool and create ground cover in a matter of minutes. On their website, Renovagen claims the panels will be able generate up to 100kWp â€“ 10 times more power than other transportable solar panels on the market today.
Not only is this new technology installed quickly, but the fuel cost savings during transportation is noteworthy. The tightly wound solar spools can be carried by the 4Ã—4 vehicle attached to a small air pallet trailer in tow, which eliminates the need for large diesel generators.
According to Renovagen, a standard rigid solar field takes 22 hours of man-power to install, while the thin, flexible sheets roll out in just 2 minutes. Once spread onto the ground, the panels can be bolted or staked to withstand winds of over 80 mph. After just five minutes of installation by two people, the panels are ready to generate solar power. Batteries and inverters are attached to the base of the panels.
This ingenious development is of course ideal for large areas of flat ground, such as remote camps or military bases. They also have the potential to provide instant energy in areas hit by natural disasters. Hingley tells the Guardian, it is like a microgrid in a box. It has all of the components integrated into it that you need to run a 24 hour microgrid. Renovagen is now crowd-funding for the Roll-Array on Crowdcube.