OPES Solutions, a leading supplier of off-grid solar modules, will deliver over 100,000 special modules for rental bikes in May and June this year. With the help of the independent power supply provided by the OPES modules, the bikes are able to communicate actively with the lender at all times. As a result, maintenance and logistics concepts can be successfully implemented.

Bike sharing market could grow to 9.2 billion euros by 2022

“The bike sharing example shows how digitization can create new markets and business models for off-grid solar modules within a few months – virtually out of nowhere. Just a year ago, rental bikes with solar modules were the exception, now the market is growing rapidly,” says Robert Händel, founder and CEO of OPES Solutions.

Based on research and studies by the Earth Policy Institute, Roland Berger and the Chinese Scientific Research Institute, OPES Solutions estimates that the global rental bicycle market could reach a value of around EUR 9.2 billion by 2022. Worldwide there are currently around 23 million rental bikes in over 304 cities globally, with the cities of Shenzhen, Chengdu and Beijing as leading locations.

Special requirements for modules

The use on rental bikes places special technical demands on the modules. They have to be robust, light and efficient, and at the same time low-cost production in large quantities is necessary. In addition, dirt and stickers should adhere as poorly as possible.

Larger modules with an output of around 5 watts, which are attached to the transport basket of the bicycle, for example, are currently in particularly high demand. Compared to the frequently used modules with 0.5 to 2 watts of power, they have more power reserves. This means that they also provide sufficient energy when the bicycle is parked in the shade.

In order to meet the requirements of lenders, OPES Solutions relies on a combination of development know-how and automated production. Among other things, the company uses patented laser and stringer processes that multiply the throughput compared to conventional processes. “OPES is expanding its manufacturing platform to prepare for further growth in our segment. We are expecting many new applications for offgrid-modules,” adds Robert Händel.

About OPES Solutions

OPES Solutions is a leading supplier of solar modules for off-grid power supply. The company develops and manufactures certified modules with outputs from 0.9 to 270 watts, which are distinguished by flexible design, high durability and an attractive price/performance ratio. The research and development partners of OPES Solutions include the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics. Product development and support are based in Germany, production is located in Changzhou, China.