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Solar Power for Intersection Control

Complete traffic control systems powered by 12 or 24 VDC

Solar Power has been used for many years in the traffic control industry because it is a readily available form of free energy; however, its application has been limited mainly to flashers, warning signs and regulatory signs. Little work has been done by major traffic industry suppliers to operate complete intersections on solar power. This is because the DC power generated by solar cells has to be inverted to 120 or 240 VAC to operate the traffic traffic control equipment, resulting in additional expense and energy losses.

Zwiesler Resources Inc. (ZRI) is on the leading edge of technology to run entire intersections using solar power. This includes all SBC-2400 Traffic Control System components, which can be powered directly from 12 or 24 VDC. ZRI has also established close working relationship leading suppliers of solar panels and related photovoltaic hardware for traffic control applications.

LED signal heads and pedestrian signals consume less then one tenth of the power as their incandescent counterparts, and are available for 12 VDC, 24 VDC, 120 VAC or 240 VAC power. To convert the DC power from solar cells to AC power, ZRI is offering low-cost power inverters with typical 90% to 93% efficiency.

There are three main items to be considered when planning a solar installation:

  • Location Availability of sunlight. Includes latitude, longitude, altitude & climate.
  • Load Intersection power consumption.
  • Duty cycle Intersection operation as a percentage of time out of 24 hours.

For example, if an intersection operates in flash at night time, when direct solar power is not available, battery and other solar hardware costs can be reduced compared to full 24-hour intersection operation.

Solar Intersection Example

Intersection description: Two streets crossing at 90. Four 300 mm (12 inch) LED signal heads (R, Y, G), four LED pedestrian signals, one traffic cabinet.

  • Power consumption of 12" signal heads: 12W x 4 = 48W
  • Power consumption of pedestrian signals: 10W x 4 = 40W
  • Power loss due to inverter inefficiency (7%): 6W
  • Power consumption of traffic cabinet components: 8W (667 mA @ 12V)
  • Total power consumption: 102W (8.5A @ 12V)
  • Recommended solar cell power generating capacity: 200W
  • Battery capacity for 16-hour operation from one charge: 8.5A x 16 hrs = 136 Ah
  • Recommended storage battery: Lead acid gel-cell, 186 Ah, 50 x 20 x 25 cm

Please see our excerpt from a calculation for a more complex intersection with signs.

Your Next Step

Contact ZRI. We will be happy to quote entire solar powered intersections, or work with you on a consulting basis to develop a requirements package for procurement of components from different sources.


SBC-2400 Single Board Controller System

 SBC-2400 Controller CPU
 SBC-2400 Traffic Software
 Software Manual
 HHT Programming Unit
 SBC-2400 Test Equipment
 SSC Power Board
 CMU Conflict Monitor Unit
 Cabinet Power Supply
 Loop Detectors
 Traffic Cabinets

Zwiesler Resources Inc. Capabilities

 Solar Power for Traffic
 Zwiesler Home Page
 Contact ZRI

Cost-Effective Traffic Control Solutions
for International Markets

Tel:  760-943-8675
Fax: 760-943-8675

220 Via del Cerrito
Encinitas, CA 92024, USA

2008 Zwiesler Resources, Inc.. All rights reserved.

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