Hydropower, Solar

Solar LED Research Receives Funding

Carmanah Technologies Corporation, in partnership with BC Hydro and British Columbia Institute of Technology, has received a grant worth approximately CAN$500,000 from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to develop solar-powered LED edge-lit signs.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada – November 25, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Created in November 2001, SDTC was developed as part of the Canadian Government’s commitment to support technology companies that reduce green house gases by reducing energy consumption. Last week SolarAccess.com reported that SDTC announced eight successful grant recipients, including Carmanah, that were selected from among more than 500 applications across Canada. On average, these grants contribute approximately 33 percent of the total cost of each project. “The SDTC will help Canadian companies like Carmanah become worldwide leaders in alternative energy technologies,” said Carmanah founder, David Green. “This grant enables our company to work on the development of solar-powered, LED sign lighting technology that uses 1/10th the power of conventional illuminated signs.” Carmanah has developed solar-powered LED technology to produce cost-effective, energy-efficient lighting for marine navigation buoys, roadway hazard lights, railway lights and other industrial applications around the world. Illumination accounts for 20-30 percent of electricity consumption worldwide. Widespread use of LEDs could cut global electricity consumption by 10 percent and reduce global carbon emissions by 200 million tons a year, according to a paper presented by Hewlett-Packard’s Roland Haitz and Fred Kish to the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association. Carmanah takes this concept one step further by using sunlight, rather than conventional electricity to power its illumination. Although LED-based lighting technology is developing rapidly, it hasn’t been widely used for illuminating signs due to the poor performance of LED backlighting. Carmanah plans to develop techniques and materials that will evenly reflect the LED light from the edges, producing a more practical and attractive illuminated sign.