Fischer Panda helps Sky News cut emissions

Fischer Panda helps Sky News cut emissions

Hybrid Power Systems from Fischer Panda UK are supporting Sky News’s journey towards Net Zero carbon emissions. CVW reports.

In an era where environmental responsibility plays a key role in vehicle selection for many fleets and organisations, Sky News took steps towards sustainability with its fleet of eight rapid news gathering vehicles, nicknamed – ‘Rangers’. These versatile Rangers are the first responders to breaking news stories across the United Kingdom, providing footage and live production capabilities. Behind their transformation into reliable sustainable vehicles, lies a hybrid mobile power system which has been developed in collaboration with companies like Fischer Panda UK; a partnership that secured Sky News the Broadcast Tech Innovation Award in 2021.

For nearly a decade, Sky’s vehicle technology department has been committed to making the Ranger fleet’s development more sustainable. These vehicles are utilised on a four-year lease to ensure the latest clean engines are available to Sky.

The Rangers are not just news delivery vehicles; they are mobile studios, equipped to transmit footage back to Sky studios, edit content, and contribute to live productions. The task requires a substantial 2000W of power, equivalent to an average washing machine. The vehicles need to be able to house and run a good amount of equipment, on location, reliably and efficiently.

Fischer Panda helps Sky News cut emissions

As well as ensuring the vehicles met these needs, one of the most significant challenges Sky faced was in meeting its ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and this meant the Rangers had to show a reduction in the environmental impact of running their power systems. Leaving the engine running for extended periods to power equipment onboard, resulted in each Ranger producing its weight in carbon emissions every two months.

Sky News turned to Fischer Panda for their solutions in hybrid power systems.

The new power system is composed of two large batteries that provide ample power to operate the production equipment without the need for the engine to run continuously. When on the move, the batteries are charged by the engine’s alternator, and solar panels trickle-charge them throughout the day, ensuring a constant power supply. When back at base, the system can be recharged, similar to an electric car, ready for the next deployment.

Fischer Panda helps Sky News cut emissions

This pioneering system has slashed carbon emissions by more than 100 tonnes annually across the Ranger fleet. The implementation of Fischer Panda UK’s hybrid mobile power system marks a step forward in on-location broadcasting. It allows the Rangers to charge all equipment, run essential operations, and provide various outputs for Sky without the need for a generator or constant engine running. This highly efficient capability can be sustained for extended periods and has significantly reduced the carbon footprint during on-location assignments.

Sky’s vehicle technology department is now focused on addressing emissions related to travel back and forth from locations. They are actively exploring the use of premium HVO fuel like Green D Plus and engaging in research and development projects involving hybrid and fully electric vehicles. Although there is still a journey ahead, the recent Ranger transformation is a significant step in the right direction.

Fischer Panda helps Sky News cut emissions

The components of transformation

The hybrid mobile power system designed comprises several key components:

  • Mastervolt 5.5kwh Lithium-Ion Battery (S): These batteries provide efficient and quick-charging performance, enabling the Rangers to operate without the engine running.
  • Mastervolt DC-DC MAC Plus Charger (S): This charger ensures maximum charge current from the vehicle’s existing euro 6 alternator, enhancing reliability while reducing emissions from the main engine.
  • Mains Hook-Up: This feature allows each Ranger to run equipment and charge batteries whenever mains power is available, whether on location or at the base.
  • Mastervolt MASS Combi: This component plays a crucial role in the overall functionality of the hybrid system, ensuring seamless power supply.
  • Masterview Easy Touch Screen: The user-friendly interface provides realtime information on zero-emission power availability, enabling informed decision-making.
  • Solar Panels and Smart Controller: Solar panels on the roof of each Ranger help offset standby power losses and keep the batteries topped up, extending zero-emission operation times.

As technology continues to advance, and with ongoing collaboration with experts in the field such as Fischer Panda UK, fleet managers are able to make significant strides in shaping a greener and more sustainable future and meet with ambitious emissions targets set by the government.

To watch a video on the Sky Ranger transformation click here.

Want to know more? Click here.

Related posts