Logistics and transportation companies are constantly looking for ways to improve operational efficiency and increase profitability. In an effort to meet the evolving needs of these customers, device manufacturers are turning to technological improvements and smarter engineering to deliver better and more durable solutions.
Solar technology has been around for more than 100 years, but new technology developments are changing the game entirely. Durable solar panels are now being built into trailer and container tracking devices to create true, ruggedized solutions. These next-generation solar panels are able to withstand harsh weather conditions—rain/snow, extreme high/low temperatures and UV rays, among others —as well as shock and impact, minimizing costly repair/replacement costs and service interruptions.
New solar technology is also more efficient, particularly when it comes to generating more power with reduced sun exposure. Depending on the device, relatively short daylight exposure (approximately five hours a day for a week) can now generate enough power to allow a device to transmit messages for an entire year or more depending on reporting frequency. Today’s rechargeable batteries can often have the same lifetime as their associated assets, bringing significant cost savings to customers who no longer have to worry about battery replacements. Operational visibility also improves as blind spots and service interruptions due to depleted batteries disappear.
Advanced engineering and design has also made it possible for tracking devices to incorporate solar and technology components into all-in-one, low-profile enclosures designed to meet strict height restrictions and easily install on trailers and containers. Some vendors are also opting for factory sealed battery compartments in order to eliminate issues caused by water penetration and other environmental contaminants.
Container and Trailer Tracking Solutions from ORBCOMM
The GT 1100 is ORBCOMM’s tracking solution for the transportation, trailer and intermodal container market. The ruggedized GT 1100 (IP67 rated) is self-powered by environmentally-sealed solar rechargeable lithium ion batteries that enable low power consumption, efficient messaging and long and reliable service life in the field. The GT 1100 delivers robust connectivity to assets over the cellular network with optional backup satellite communications over the ORBCOMM satellite data service for reliable, uninterrupted connectivity.