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Covid-19 Mobile Processing Labs

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The Challenge

In 2021 PPT in collaboration with partner Butyl Products were involved in the specification and supply of auxiliary electrical systems to provide mobile power on-board a large fleet of covid-19 test processing laboratories.

This was an exciting opportunity as not only did this require a robust and professional system to be delivered, but in providing so, we would be contributing towards the nations effort against covid-19 which is affecting the entire world, even to this day.

Working with two separate clients with similar goals, we had to design a system that could be utilised by both parties, yet still customised to their specific needs. Our end users include the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and Novacyt Group, a global clinical diagnostics company. The pressure was on to deliver innovative and future proof systems that can successfully provide a reliable source of power to both mobile trailer labs allowing them to consistently run for 24 hours, 7 days a week no matter where they are.

The Mobile Processing Laboratories (VersaLab) by the Novacyt Group provides rapid test processing in a safe, mobile and nearer-to-patient environments. This has been a huge help in drastically reducing wait times and helping the world get back to what really matters. Each laboratory  is capable of processing up to 900 COVID-19 samples per day and can house various powered appliances such as;

  • A Minus 20 degrees medical freezer,
  • A Class 2 biosafety cabinet / hood
  • An air filtration system.
  • A Mobile alarm system
  • On board Wi-Fi
  • Charging points for laptops and mobiles
  • And an Infrared CCTV security system

Separate laboratories that are designed for the Department of health and social care had a very similar set up, which allowed us to specify a system that would work perfectly for both applications.

All these loads play a part in delivering what these Laboratories do best, but keeping all this running smoothly and uninterrupted while off grid can be a challenge. This is exactly where Portable Power Technology’s experience and solutions came in to help.

Our Solution

From our early consultation we knew this was a system that needed a reasonable battery storage, and the ability to recharge from 230V mains or a generator on a daily basis. Knowing this we opted for a modern, low frequency pure sinewave Inverter/charger, as not only would this make charging easy, but it also incorporates the AC power while occupying less space within the trailer.

We specified a 48V 50Ah LiFePO4 lithium module as this was an industrial and space effective storage solution. This was large enough to support all the mission critical loads on the lab for up to 24 hours without a charging source, with >2500 cycles at 100% DOD the battery should outlive the trailer!

The Kinergier 3000W 48V Inverter charger with a 300% surge rating was selected due to its superior capability of delivering up to 3000W of AC power continuously; Ensuring all appliances are powered on-board, from the medical fridge and biosafety cabinet to everything in between.

A 480W solar array was installed to the roof of some of the trailers allowing the system to be recharged when on the move or parked stationary

Utilising the MCK remote display and intelligent CAN connections between the lithium module and the Kinergier Inverter/Charger, our end users can easily monitor and keep track of the system. This ensures that if any issues were to arise, they could be easily diagnosed and fix with incredible response times from PPT and Butyl products.

Overall this was a hugely satisfying start to the project and we are very proud and honoured to have been working on such important systems. PPT to date have supplied in excess of 50 systems, have on going orders with more orders to follow in 2022. As the fleets grows we will continue to provide new systems and ongoing support to strengthen the individual efforts of Novacyt and the Department of Health and Social Care.


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