Funding to Propel Solar ‘Furniture’ development

After recently landing a new product award at Interbuild, an major building and construction show in the UK, solarcentury secured a &pound75,000 (US$132,000) grant to develop a range of solar-powered street furniture products under the Knowledge Transfer Programme (KTP).

London, United Kingdom – May 14, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The joint project between solarcentury and The University of Reading’s Energy Group and Electronic Engineering Department will support the evolution of the solar lighting solution which is already undergoing testing all over the UK including Plymouth, Watford, Stoke, London and Aberdeen. The streetsmart lighting solution transforms a bus shelter into an independent power unit. From the custom made solar module, the long life cyclic batteries, the custom designed low power controller, high efficiency LEDs and light diffusing membrane, every aspect of the solution relies on the latest in modern innovation. “This award from the DTI will allow us to build on our successful track record in the street furniture market,” said Dan Davies, Director of Engineering. “We have installed over 600 streetsmart systems across the UK – powering lights, RTPI, and ticket machines. Now we will be able to turn our expertise to developing solar systems for other application such as street advertising.” Streetsmart gives bus shelter manufacturers and Councils the ability to install illuminated shelters wherever they want without the associated costs and delays of traditional grid connection. Solarcentury’s design combines LED lighting with a high-efficiency controller. The SC controller incorporates advanced energy management features to control the lighting whilst maximizing the solar energy harnessed by the photovoltaic modules. “This is an excellent opportunity to develop the use of other micro power generation technologies in street furniture as well as innovative energy storage systems and advanced lighting and display technologies,” said Martin Bellamy, off-grid solar system designer at solarcentury. The British-Columbia, Canada-based Carmanah Technologies has also experienced considerable success with their own version of a grid-independent, solar-powered bus shelter.

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