Solar traffic lights are just the next step providing a reliable, inexpensive, affordable and environmentally friendly source for modern traffic management systems. These “green” lights will also help reduce electricity bills.
It is interesting to note that a set of eight traditional traffic lights consumes as much electricity as a three bedrooms residence occupied by a family of four.
With no trenching, wiring or electrical work required, solar powered traffic lights are perfect for road safety and traffic control applications.
Solar traffic lights, efficient LED traffic signals
Existing conventional traffic lights can be easily retrofitted to operate on solar energy. Solar powered traffic lights can also be used in temporary settings where a traffic signal is only needed for a set period of time. These temporary solar traffic signals can be supported on a post, trailer mounted, secured momentarily and placed quickly at traffic intersections. In most cases they can be installed by one person.
Solar traffic lights are fitted with the latest technology in electronics. They are based on photovoltaic or PV for short.
- A solar panel located on the top of the pole converts sunlight into electrical power.
- A solar charger regulates the voltage coming out of the solar panel.
- The regulated power obtained is used to charge a battery.
- Lighting is produced by arrays of extra bright LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that are much brighter than bulbs. LEDs last for years and are very energy efficient. LEDs are small, but they can produce a significant amount of light. If solar lighting is progressing very fast, it is mainly due to LED technology
On simple and stand-alone solar traffic lights a timer controls the lighting sequence at fixed intervals
They can also be activated by radar sensors. Sets of traffic lights are usually radio-linked together, providing wireless communication between the lights. A master traffic light connected to a computerized controller/sequencer synchronizes and controls the slave units.
Solar powered traffic lights and solar traffic signs are becoming more and more widespread around the world because they are portable, easily deployed, energy efficient, good for the environment, and require minimum maintenance.
One of the biggest problems in developing countries is power outages. An obvious advantage of solar traffic lights is that they will continue working as their main purpose is to keep traffic flowing even during power cuts.
Solar directional signals and solar street lights offer an interesting and practical solution.