Evaluation and Demonstration of Solar/Wind Power Combined Highway Lighting
Over 3 years
Research Idea Scope
Alternative power lighting shows great potential for reducing energy consumption. At this time, there is little to no analysis available from actual implementation of such systems for highway lighting. Viability of this product needs to be demonstrated and shared to encourage greater support for use of alternative power lighting by DOT’s. To pilot the installation of solar/wind power combined highway lights. Assessment will include an evaluation of current users and suppliers of solar/wind power combined lighting focusing on installation, maintenance, and reliability. One vendor would be selected for a pilot installation of 10 to 20 highway lights to be monitored throughout the service life. Pilot would demonstrate effectiveness of product, public support, cost savings, and impact on maintenance demands.
Urgency and Payoff
At this time, it is difficult for DOTs to evaluate combined alternative power highway lighting as an option for new installations because of the limited use of such products in the US. Demonstrating their benefits and true costs would help DOT’s adopt the use of this new technology. Increased use of solar/wind powered street lights by DOT’s would increase the use of renewable energy sources and reduce electricity cost to taxpayers. Additional cost savings are anticipated from reduced maintenance requirements, longer life LED bulbs, and reduced trenching and wiring. Such systems would also remain reliable during power outages increasing safety for motorists.
Tiffany M. Abbondanza, Virginia Department of Transportation