Solar Sunday (a COVD Lockdown expirement)

A core part of our system is the collection of the electrocardiogram device that collect the drivers ECG observations. In all of our prototype units we tap into the power that runs through the steering column, and as a backup we have a small battery (as can be seen in the unit below).

FatigueM8 power pack

During our data collection trials in late 2020 and through 2021 we’ve observed that if the trucks are “parked up” for a period that our ECG collection doesn’t automatically restart when the truck does.

It’s taken a while to be able to replicate this, but thanks to the ACT Lockdown we have been able to replicate this circumstances and the behaviour with the unit. The short term fix is to reset the ECG unit once the Truck’s back in operation and the battery is recharged. Its a quick fix once you’re inside the truck, however downside to this fix is if the unit is in a truck that is being driven around the remote areas of Queensland, then it isn’t such a quick fix!

During the ACT lockdown we began to experiment with a solar panels to keep the charge up in the battery unit (below).

The thinking was/is, that when most trucks are “parked up” they will be outside and exposed to the sun. The small solar panels (below) we are testing (pleasingly) provide enough power to charge the battery and prevent the ECG unit from entering ‘sag’ mode.

As, as can be seen in the photos’ below, small enough too, theoretically, be fixed onto the horn cover of some of the models we currently support.

At this stage we’re testing the practical application of this configuration in our test vehicle, and if it proves to be a winner we may shift to in-truck trials late-2021 or early 2022. The early indications are positive, so watch this space.