green and sustainable business

Solar Traffic Controls: solar light for all of us

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STCSales01022009If there’s a need for flashing warning lights at school crossings, pedestrian walkways, freeway off-ramps, train and wildlife crossings here in the U.S. and now in Africa, Solar Traffic Controls LLC has it covered.

The Tempe, AZ company uses the Smart Relay technology developed by IDEC Corporation in the development and design of a host of “reliable and affordable solutions for advance traffic systems,” says Joe Wise, STC’s president.

Since its start by Wise in 2001, the company has provided solar-powered traffic control systems to city, state and federal transportation agencies; police, firefighting and public works departments; facility maintenance and plant safety industries.

Its primary products are solar-powered flashing beacon systems used for school zones and 24-hour applications. It also builds specialized flasher systems using sensors and custom communications packages. STC distributes DC LEDs to OEMs and end-users throughout the United States and Canada

Last month the company took its light show to West Africa.

Under a under licensing agreement with Solar Force Corp. USA, STC has fielded several demonstration area lighting systems in conjunction with Solar Force and its affiliate Solar Force Nigeria. To date, Solar Force Nigeria has fielded over 60 systems on one contract and is in line to furnish more systems for additional contracts for several African states.

“West Africa has had numerous solar lighting companies enter their market,” STC says, but most “were foreign based and did not focus on a long-term presence in the region. Many looked at work in the region as contract-specific and left upon completion of the projects. Subsequently, the systems fell into disrepair and solar began to have a tarnished reputation.”

Solar Force Nigeria has established two offices there and has a trained crew outfitted by STC with the necessary tools to perform much of the work in Nigeria. Under the licensing agreement, STC says it will furnish additional tools, system designs, and internet-based training to ensure the continuing success of the projects.

New lighting technologies are also improving the viability of solar lighting in West Africa, the company continues. Many of the original systems installed were based on Low Pressure Sodium lamps with a yellow-orange optical output. The newer systems being introduced in the field are LED based using white sources in the range of 4000-5200K thus providing more perceived light for the amount of energy consumed.

“Continued efficiency improvements in LED lighting will help raise the quality and lower the price of lighting systems for the region. Properly designed power systems and practices as well as suitable LED drive circuitry will ensure years of reliable service from the equipment furnished.”

Earlier this year STC provided 58 solar sensor system power packages for a California Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation System project. The ITS project consisted of two types of power systems in Southern California.

STC is a private company so it does not reveal precise sales and financial numbers. It says that its shipments last year increased by 11 percent over 2007 shipments, and the backlog of projects rolling over to 2009 represented more than 20 percent of 2008’s projected sales

“We’ve always been green,” STC says. It’s going national and global with its “Go solar” mantra and taking solar to a new level of affordable and reliable technology, free of the power grid.


Written by William DiBenedetto

20 June, 2009 at 11:53 am

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