Electrical Power & Protection


Solar trailers are changing the game

Technews Industry Guide: Sustainable Manufacturing 2023 Electrical Power & Protection

Automation company Iritron has developed solar trailers that power various farming equipment, such as borehole pumps, irrigation systems and incubators. Gerhard Greeff, divisional manager at Iritron, says that solar trailers offer a reliable source of power that farmers can use to irrigate their crops and power other equipment.

One of the most significant advantages of solar trailers is that they are environmentally friendly. Solar panels generate clean energy, which is crucial for farmers who want to reduce their environmental impact, and the trailers are cost-effective in the long run. While the initial investment cost may be higher than traditional diesel-powered generators, solar trailers pay for themselves. Once farmers have invested, they have a free source of energy for the life of the equipment. Additionally, they do not need to worry about fuel or recurring maintenance costs associated with a traditional generator.

The trailers are also designed to be mobile, allowing farmers to move them around as required. The trailers are used across South Africa, notably in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. Iritron’s solar trailers have a battery storage system that allows power to be stored and used, even when no sunlight is available. The trailers are customisable to suit specific requirements and include various equipment options.

Iritron also offers training and support to ensure the effective and safe use of this unique solar service offering. A fitting use case for solar trailers is during scenarios where access to electricity is abruptly stopped and may not be available for a while, such as a disaster relief activity and outdoor events. It can also replace the expensive and maintenance-intensive generator as backup power for homes and businesses or the on-demand electricity requirements of remote festivals and entertainment shows. But the standout use case has proven to be the farming business. “Solar trailers are a revolutionary new technology that is changing agriculture in South Africa,” says Greeff. “With the increasing demand for sustainable farming practices, the solar trailer proves to be up to the task.”

In addition to the solar tailers, Iritron can tailor other specialised solutions to suit the specific needs of the farming industry. For example, Iritron has worked with a customer to establish a sustainable process for macadamia production, which involves using a gasifier to burn macadamia husks and generate gas that powers a generator to produce electricity. This process has reduced the reliance on vehicles and fuel costs, while minimising waste usually sent to a dump site.

According to Neels van der Walt, senior business development manager at Iritron, gasifiers are used with a variety of biomass fuels, including agricultural waste such as bagasse. “By using our gasifiers and solar trailers, farmers can generate electricity and reduce their dependence on the local electricity grid and fossil fuels,” he added.

In conclusion, solar trailers are essential in South Africa’s current climate, where the energy crisis and the need for alternative energy solutions are critical. This is even more so in the agricultural industry, where solar trailers provide a reliable and cost-effective energy source for farmers and other businesses. The solution can contribute to sustainable farming practices, provide immediate electricity where no infrastructure exists, and reduce environmental impact. Tailored to meet specific needs, it is a revolutionary product indeed.

For more information contact Gerhard Greeff, Iritron, +27 82 654 0290, gerhard.greeff@iritron.co.za, www.iritron.co.za


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