Speed and simplicity are key when, for example, a natural catastrophe occurs and access to electricity is urgent to respond as soon as possible to the emergency. For these cases, and for many others, Rapid Roll has been devised, a new solar system that can be anywhere in the world in standard shipping containers. In addition, its installation is so simple that you only need to deploy this technology as you would a carpet to, in minutes, have power.
High power, ease of global transport, instant set-up, and ease of use. These are the four strengths of Rapid Roll, according to its creators, the British startup Renovagen. Although it is in the development phase to reach commercial scale, this innovation has as its maxim the ‘ plug & play ‘ or, in Spanish, the plug and play.
This particularity is possible because for Rapid Roll to start providing energy, no expert is needed. ‘Unroll and capture energy’, would be the perfect equivalent to that plug & play that is achieved with this kind of solar mat. Its modular design not only allows the solution to be adjusted to the needs of each user, but it also helps to contain any damage and also to optimize the performance of each of the sections.
The simplicity of the system is reflected in the assembly and utilization times. For an installation of five or ten meters wide and up to one hundred long (the first, suitable for transport in a 20-foot container and, the second, in a 40-foot one), the installation and start-up would be a matter of hours. “This technology makes it possible to deploy large energy capacities in less time than any competitor,” say the creators. Up to 18 kW in two minutes of assembly, and less than an hour for 300 kW.
These attributes make this solution an asset for disaster operations or for its transfer to any area in which a humanitarian crisis situation has to be addressed. The military industry, mining, film production or, also, Smart Cities, are other potential clients of this technology.
But in addition, its promoters assure that to all the above is added the capacity of its solution that, they say, can generate ten times more energy than other similar proposals. Although, for the moment, Renovagen estimates the capacity at 100 kWp with a shipment in a 20-foot container, the future goal is set at 600, with the integration of more efficient solar cells.
With a life expectancy of 10 years, this technology does not lose steam in low or diffuse light conditions. However, it obtains its best performance among the tropics, where they ensure that, with it, energy self-sufficiency can reach 365 of the year. Waterproof and weight-proof, but without overdoing it (you can walk on the installation, but it is not designed for it), these roll-up and portable solar farms include inverters and batteries for storage.