Solar, Storage

India Firm Produces LED Solar Traffic Lights

Traffic lights in six cities in India use solar to power LED units, and have incorporated features such as count-down timers to let drivers know how long before the light will change.

BANGALORE, India, IN, 2001-12-04 [SolarAccess.com] Bharat Electronics Ltd, a defence electronics company, has designed an eco-friendly light emitting diode solar traffic signal system. Twenty units are operating in Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Erode and Bhubaneswar. The traffic lights use solar cells, countdown timers, LED displays, programmable logic controllers and a dual power supply. The PV cells offer an alternative to conventional power, and generate enough daily energy to run the system for three days. The power requirement is 10 percent of conventional signals resulting in substantial energy savings of up to 60,000 Rupees per year for a single junction. Countdown timers display the time left for the signal to turn either red or green, warning motorists to slow before an impending red light or allowing them to switch off vehicle motors while waiting for a green light, to reduce emissions and save fuel. The systems are run by a programmable logic controller and enable add-on features such as synchronisation of traffic signals and integration of video cameras/vehicle detectors at a marginal cost. The system conforms to IP55 standards, ensuring operation in bad weather, rain and dusty conditions. LEDs are of high luminous intensity, which ensures higher visibility under adverse weather conditions. Imported from Japan and the U.S. and promising a lifespan of ten years, the LEDs are maintenance-free and continue to work when diodes fail. BHEL has also started delivery of a PV module order to Ikarus Solar of Germany. The first deliveries are part of an order for 7,400 monocrystalline 75 watt modules. Completion of the 550 kW order is scheduled for next March. BHEL is a major solar cell manufacturers in India, based in Bangalore. Ikarus Solar is a manufacturer of solar collectors and solar thermal equipment, with an annual manufacturing capacity of 150,000 square meters. Also in Bangalore, TATA BP Solar has laid the foundation stone of new solar module manufacturing plant at Electronic City Phase II. It will increase annual production capacity of PV modules from 8 to 38 MW which, in turn, is expected to increase sales from 1,612 million rupees to 5,000 million by 2005. The plant should be in full operation by the middle of next year.