Solar van shows off the power of renewable energy

Capable of generating up to 20 kWh of electricity per day

Members of the public who thought solar panels were only used to generate renewable electricity on houses and in fields have been stunned over the past few weeks to see a High tech ‘solar van' – emblazoned with PV panels – at various locations around the south west of England.

The solar van, designed and put together by Exeter-based company SunGift Energy, has been cruising around the region, visiting shows, and parked up at various events with the aim of demonstrating to the public that it is possible for solar PV to provide 100% renewable energy to almost any location within minutes of arriving.

Fitted with nine solar PV panels, the van has much less ‘roof space' than most houses, yet it is capable of generating up to 20 kWh of electricity per day.

"The van does stand out, and it has certainly made people stop and stare," said Gabriel Wondrausch, managing director of SunGift Energy. "But behind its crazy looks there is some exceptional technology that demonstrates how we could all live more sustainably, save money, and have significantly less reliance on fossil fuels and energy companies."

The real beauty of the solar van, which boasts a 2.25 kW TrinaSolar PV system, is that it feeds electricity into the latest energy management technology & battery storage. The solar van's 24 kW battery can hold enough charge to power a small house for up to three days.

"The solar van is a real working model that generates electricity, it has been designed to enable us to supply power to remote locations, events or even emergencies where power cuts have occurred," added Gabriel. "It may look just like a fun piece of marketing, but it is a reflection of significant advancements in the market that will see the emergence of SMART battery storage solutions, where households will be able to generate their own solar electricity, store it in their homes, and then a sophisticated system will work out which appliances need it the most."

This type of solution is already available in countries like Germany where solar PV has been around for years, so SunGift has been working with world-leading manufacturer BenQ to prepare the technology for use in the UK.

Solar Van available for organisations to borrow

SunGift's solar van will be sited at many events and locations including Exeter Chiefs rugby games, numerous town and county shows, and around the streets of the south west. Community groups, organisations or businesses that are interested in having the solar van along at their event (and generating free energy that can be used for a variety of purposes) can contact Gary Cook at SunGift Energy for more information (, 01392 213 912).

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