Solar technology is a vital element of the Thermal Road Repairs (TRR) system because it helps to reduce the carbon footprint of road repairs to just one -fifth of the footprint of traditional methods.
The TRR units incorporate solar panels in its heaters and in the vehicles so that the heaters can charge themselves while outdoors and be charged via the vehicle’s panels while being transported. This minimises or removes the need to use mains power.
TRR’s leading-edge heating technology is computer controlled so that it heats the material around potholes or defects, as well as any loose material in the pothole, to exactly the right temperature. A small amount of new asphalt is then added and mixed with the hot material before the area is compacted with a roller to form a homogenous, joint-free repair. This re-use of existing material vastly reduces the quantity of new material, which also reduces carbon emissions.
Recently TRR upgraded its solar technology, with the help of expert Troy Gent who heads up R&D at TRR’s research and development division, Wedgmoor Automation. “When the machines are standing, they are still consuming energy, so it was important to make the solar arrays as efficient as possible in order to maintain the charge on the battery,” says Troy. “Now, in many instances, the systems are self-sustaining.”
When the heaters aren’t in heating mode, they consume energy to power to self-monitor via an IoT (internet of things) device which communicates with other remote devices. “It’s an early-warning system,” explains Troy. “If a unit isn’t charged, and isn’t receiving a charge, the system sends a text out to a group of designated stakeholders so that they can check what the problem is.” Engineers are also able to monitor settings and look at charging history and cycles.
As well as being able to claim greater efficiency than many similar systems, TRR’s solar technology is safer too. “We keep our voltage down to 24 volts DC to keeps things nice and safe, which is very important,” says Troy. “Most systems tend to supply 220 volts AC.”
With every TRR unit now equipped with the latest solar technology systems, the R&D engineers are already working to make the next generation more efficient yet. And there are other related solar development programmes underway, although TRR cannot reveal too much at this point. What it can says is that the goal is to shrink that small carbon footprint even further.
Thermal Road Repairs is a green technology company which supplies systems to improve the quality, cost and time efficiency of road repairs and paving – at a far lower environmental cost than traditional methods. We invest significantly in R&D, to create new technologies and to continuously improve our existing ones.
High output. Low emission. Permanent solution.