Lighting up UK Transit

From Carmanah’s solar powered LED transit stops, to Solar Century’s PV bus-stop shelters – solar powered technologies are weaving their way into the transportation fabric of the UK.

Plymouth, England – December 16, 2002 [] Solar Century announced the installation of 300 solar-powered bus shelters across the city, the largest installation of its kind in the world. The installation will begin in spring 2003 and will involve bus shelters throughout the city. The solar panels will further improve the quality of Plymouth’s bus shelters while making one of the city’s key public services more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. The technology allows shelters to illuminate automatically at dusk. Also, traditionally overcast UK days are not a problem: the shelters are able to convert very low levels of light into electricity, said the company. Uni-Solar will be providing the modules for the project. “This highly energy efficient technology is going to be the light source of the future, and it makes perfect sense for this to be employed in bus shelters, whose numbers mean they consume a large amount of energy,” said Jeremy Leggett, Solar Century’s CEO. Solar Century’s technology merges the link between sustainable technology and advanced energy management and lighting solutions. The system incorporates advanced energy efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) as the light source. The system is more economical than traditional grid-connected lighting, and also saves on disruption caused by the installation of traditional power cables. The solution combats CO2 emissions at a local level by operating free from the electrical grid. This release comes on the heels of the UK Department of Trade and Industry announcement that it would be awarding £2.2 million (US$3.5 million) of funding for 19 new PV projects around the UK. Solar Century said that it won funding for seven of the nine projects they submitted. The company also secured fresh capital to support their future projects. The Solar Century projects are with the Environment Agency, two councils, a school, a university, a community health center and an ecology center, and use a range of crystalline, thin-film and glass-laminate products.
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