With over 1.5 million single-use pallets used annually for solar shipments, PVpallets is looking to reduce solid waste and product damage. The first generation of reusable, recyclable shipping pallets for solar PV modules is ready for use with key clients.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The first recyclable, reusable, adjustable, and collapsible pallet system designed specifically for shipping and protecting solar PV modules is ready for testing with key clients. Full production is set for Q1 2022. According to one of the co-founders, the solution was inspired by reusable seedboxes.
PVpallet aims to revolutionize the solar shipping industry in one efficient, meaningful way: by replacing traditional wood shipping pallets.
Discussing the true cost of a wood shipping pallet, PVpallet Co-Founder and General Manager Luke Phelps emphasized the importance of understanding the “full picture” of a wood pallet’s life cycle, including build costs, labor, transportation and handling fees, PV module breakage rates, and disposal costs. According to PVpallet, around 1,580,000 single-use wood pallets were used to ship solar PV modules in 2020.
“PVpallet aims to change that trajectory by driving real, impactful results,” explains Co-founder and Business Development leader Philip Schwarz. “We want to revolutionize the solar industry and initiate an industry-wide shift in thinking—from a linear to a circular economy.”
According to the company, the PVpallet shipping solution improves efficiencies and reduces costs throughout the entire solar supply chain, from manufacturing, distribution, and installation to storage and waste disposal. The company estimates that legacy pallet systems are responsible for 2-3% of solar product damage during handling.
Additional advantages of the PVpallet shipping solution for solar modules include:
High-density plastic sidewalls and cross braces protect modules in transit.
Exterior walls easily adjust to fit various module sizes.
Walls collapse and pallets stack for easy return shipping.
Pallets stack up to four high to maximize warehouse space.
PVpallets are made of discarded, recycled plastic. They are sturdy, fully collapsible, adjust to accommodate 80 – 90% of solar PV modules currently on the market, and stack without putting weight on the solar modules themselves. According to our projections, PVpallets will be reusable around 20 times and are virtually waste-free. At the end of their life cycle, they can be reground and recycled into new PVpallets.
In August 2021, PVpallet announced $1M in funding from Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based ISA Ventures. “PVpallet is the largest investment we’ve made yet, because we believe that this company is a game-changer,” said Eric Engelmann, General Partner at ISA Ventures. “We’re eager to help this Iowa-based manufacturing company grow aggressively, creating jobs and wealth here, all while making the solar industry greener and more efficient.”
“Working with ISA Ventures included a deep-dive process in which they did several months of research about our company, team, and potential,” explained Phelps. “We’re now fully funded for production and ISA Ventures is a big part of that.”
The collapsible PVpallet has a 90×48-inch footprint with a total sidewall height of 50.1 inches. It weighs 298.3 lbs. For more information, visit www.pvpallet.com.