PowerFilm Solar Inc

Specialty Gas Monitor


The Challenge:

Airgas (acquired by Air Liquide in 2016) is an international supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases. As part of their value proposition, they provide monitoring of storage tanks for industrial companies and hospitals, using a computer to alert the company when tanks need to be refueled. Airgas was looking for a new solar design, preferably from a United States supplier to replace what they had previously been buying from China. Airgas required a specific voltage and a minimum current for their system to work properly. Additionally, they needed an oil and gas industry grade cable that was safe and reliable.


The Approach:

PowerFilm was the ideal partner given that Airgas put a priority on a US-based company and wanted a solution that would be designed and produced in the United States. After learning about their specific needs PowerFilm suggested a custom flexible amorphous silicon panel that would feature their company name and any other custom information they desired. PowerFilm also suggested using a double jacketed cable with a silicone filler that protects against arcs should the cable become cut or nicked. This panel would meet their voltage and current requirements and would not only out-perform their previous solar panel in their current orientation but would allow Airgas the flexibility to eliminate their mounting mechanism given that the flexible panel could adhere to the side of tanks.


The Solution:

Airgas needed a quality product and also one that was reliable and readily available. PowerFilm was able to listen to their needs and provide the proper panel and cabling while creating the solution entirely in the United States. After prototypes were released to Airgas they field tested the units, and after passing all field tests the new design was cleared for production quantities. PowerFilm was able to work with Airgas through the design, prototyping and eventual production phases of this new product to ensure its success.


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