PowerFilm Solar Inc

Specialty Gas Monitor

Specialty gas monitor on an Airgas gas tank

 

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 refuel. 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 correctly. Additionally, they needed an oil and gas industry-grade cable that was safe and reliable.

 

Approach

PowerFilm was the ideal partner since Airgas prioritized 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. 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 outperform their previous solar panel in their current orientation but would also allow Airgas the flexibility to eliminate their mounting mechanism given that the flexible panel could adhere to the side of tanks.

 

Solution

Airgas needed a quality product 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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