United Rentals is now the first major rental company to offer mobile micro grid battery power to its North American fleet of rental equipment. The HiPower EHR Solar Battery Generator boasts a 5.0kW peak solar array with extendable panels, converting and storing energy within built-in batteries.
The EHR Solar Battery Generator is versatile, fitting on a 20-by-8-ft trailer or a skid (as shown, below) with a charging station for electric tools, vehicles, and equipment. Beyond that, it can act as a primary power source for transient spaces such as mobile trailers or container offices.
HiPower EHR solar battery generator
In situations where the sun isn’t shining or the job site’s energy demands surpass the solar panels’ recharging speed, a 45 kVA propane-powered generator steps in. United Rentals believes propane to be a cleaner fuel source compared to traditional diesel, providing a better alternative for sustained power.
“The EHR Solar Battery Generator is a game-changer for companies that want to go to the next level of sustainability with higher energy efficiency to reduce jobsite emissions and fuel use,” explains Larry Worthington, vice president, PHVAC region at United Rentals. “The system can reduce emissions and noise levels to zero, making it an ideal fit for various applications, including urban, noise-sensitive environments.”
For their part, the people at Hipower seem equally excited about the collaboration. “As part of its commitment to providing a more electric equipment rental fleet, United Rentals is leading the way in offering on-site, sustainable charging stations to ensure customers can easily and efficiently recharge electric equipment,” said Rafael Acosta, president at Hipower, in a statement. “(United Rentals) were an instrumental partner in helping us develop the EHR Solar Battery Generator, a cutting-edge microgrid system that has the potential to revolutionize power generation and energy management.”
Hipower says its EHR generators offer a high performance in a wide range of temperatures from 5ºF to 113ºF, is available in both single-phase (-10, 20 & 40 kVA) and three-phase (15 & 30 kVA) nominal power solutions, with two different storage capacity options per model (ratios of 1:1 and 1:2) and an overload capacity of up to 300% to start electrical motors.
Determining which equipment assets to purchase and which to rent is a key aspect of any fleet manager’s role. The shift toward decarbonization and electrification introduces new considerations, especially when it comes to supplying electricity to job sites without grid connections. Many fleets face challenges in solving this equation. That’s why having immediate access to potential charging solutions like the HiPower EHR Solar Battery Generator becomes crucial.
“A lot of this electric stuff is new to us,” Mike Switzer, Equipment Manager at Stevens Engineers & Constructors, told me. “So if we can rent a solution and try it out and make sure it does what the manufacturer or dealer says it can do for us that’s going to go a long way towards helping us understand if this is something we need to buy. Sometimes it’s not, and it just makes sense to rent it as we need it. This is great for that, too.”
Author: Jo Borrás