Solar Power Preserves Vehicle Battery
Keeping vehicles charged and at the ready can be a continuing challenge for law enforcement and other fleet vehicle managers, whose cars, ambulances and trucks are equipped with numerous electronics such as lights, radios, and computers. When these vehicles are turned off, the amp demand of on-board electronics can eventually drain batteries to the point where the vehicles will not be able to start.
The SL SolarStream™ from Streamlight is a supplemental solar charging panel designed to help compensate for the natural discharge and parasitic drains on a vehicle’s battery. A thin-film amorphous silicon charging panel, the SL SolarStream securely adheres to a vehicle’s roof or other contoured surfaces, and allows for 14 watts per hour of maximum power in full sunlight. The charging system works by dispensing up to one amp of current to the vehicle’s battery, preventing it from draining completely and reducing the need for jump-starts and frequent battery replacement. It maintains a trickle charge to the vehicle battery even in low sun and cloudy conditions, and is both heat and shade tolerant.
The SL SolarStream measures 40.88 inches long by 13.07 inches wide, and weighs 1.3 pounds. The product’s amorphous silicon technology offers exceptional durability and weather resistance. The product has undergone extensive police vehicle testing, and is tested for wind resistance to 120 miles per hour.
The Streamlight panel, which should be placed on the roof of the vehicle to avoid possible damage, is easy to mount. It is recommended that two people install the panel, using the following steps:
- For new vehicle installations, route the product’s wire through the roof light bar hole, down the A-pillar closest to the vehicle battery and through the firewall. For retrofit vehicle installations, you can consider lifting the weather stripping from the rear door opening to route the wire to the inside of the vehicle and through the firewall.
- Prepare the vehicle surface by thoroughly cleaning the area where the panel will be installed. Apply automobile wax to the area. This will reduce chances of damage to the painted surface if the panel needs to be removed. (Note: the panel is meant for permanent attachment and will be damaged if removed.)
- Position the SL SolarStream panel on the vehicle. While one person holds the panel in place, the other person should lift the end with the wire and remove the adhesive backing, working toward the center of the panel.
- Roll the backing under the panel and carefully place the wire end of the panel onto the vehicle surface. With one person lifting the other end of the panel, slowly remove the backing and further secure the panel onto the surface. (Work from the center to the sides to avoid air pockets).
- Continue until all the backing is removed and the panel is secured to the surface.b
The Streamlight SolarStream comes with a 5-Year Limited Warranty.