Supported by funding from the Renewable Engine programme delivered in collaboration with South West College and Queen’s University Belfast, County Monaghan based Platinum Tanks has developed a new self-contained solar power generator for agricultural use.
The company, based in Lough Egish, employs more than 30 members of staff and supplies the UK and Irish markets with an extensive range of domestic oil storage tanks, rainwater harvesting tanks and agricultural apparatus.
As the provision of power and water to remote farms is economically challenging, many farms remain without a connection to the grid, significantly restricting how the land can be used.
Addressing the new product launch and the support from the Renewable Engine Programme, Pat Cassidy, Managing Director of Platinum Tanks, said: “Platinum Tanks participation in the Renewable Engine Programme has enabled us to use the industry funding to develop and manufacture a prototype solar panel support which will open up new markets for our business in the renewables sector and provide stability for our future growth.”
The new product, which consists of a stable base capable of carrying two 320w solar panels, does not require any additional infrastructure to install.
It can be moved using pallet forks and the hollow body can be filled with water to offer additional stability in locations where there may be a concern regarding high winds. It also features a compartment suitable for storing batteries and power management equipment. Multiple frames may also be linked to create a portable array of panels.
Dr John Harrison, South West College, added: “Platinum Tanks have demonstrated with this new launch the importance of the Renewable Engine programme and is an exemplar of the achievements of the programme over the past five years. As the programme lead, South West College is very proud to have supported the development of this innovative solution which will further promote sustainability and sustainable practice within the agriculture for generations to come.’
Dr Mark McCourt, Queen’s University Belfast, said: “We were delighted at QUB to be able to support the team at Platinum Tanks with the development of this innovative new product which will not only sustain the future growth of the company, but will provide a large number of benefits for the agricultural sector both locally and globally.”
The Renewable Engine Programme was supported with €6.1 million funding through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
Match-funding has been provided by the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, and Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland.