Renovagen, a UK-based technology provider, has developed and patented flexible solar panels called “Rapid Roll Solar PV”. The copper indium gallium selenide solar panels can be rolled and fitted into a trailer or a flat bed truck for easy transportation. Further, they can be unrolled like a mat through a spooling mechanism, and thus can be laid out on any stretch of barren land receiving sunshine. Cable connections are permanently built into the system along with auxiliary equipment and hence, system commissioning is not required on site. The fully deployed array is 25-55 metres long and about 2.2 metres wide. The current version of the technology, called Rapid Roll T, is available with power configurations of 6-16 kWp, as well as battery storage for 6-14 hours. It also has a diesel generator to supply electricity during non-sunshine hours. Rapid Roll solar panels can provide off-grid power in any suitable location without any technical assistance. As per Renovagen, these systems can be highly useful in disaster-relief situations where fuel supplies have been disrupted. The portable solar power systems can temporarily electrify hospitals, communication systems and water purifiers till the area’s power generation and distribution facilities are restored.
In addition, the technology can power remote military bases and reduce electricity costs for mining and exploratory drilling operations. The future smart cities can deploy Rapid Roll technology on wastelands for charging electric vehicles, generating peak power and providing seasonal power to the agricultural sector. The company is currently developing a “Rapid Roll I” version with a larger size (about 100 metres in length and 5 metres in width), higher power ratings (up to 600 kWp) and increased solar cell efficiencies to cater to areas with high electricity demand. Through this technology, the company aims to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable power for millions of people around the world, and even save lives in the process.