Sunday, February 5, 2012

Solar-Powered LED Lighting Installed on Bridge

When the Astoria-Megler Bridge was built in 1966, the navigational lighting was tied into the electrical grid.
Solar-powered LED lights were installed on the Astoria-Megler
Bridge in 2011 as part of a pilot project to test the equipment’s
performance in high winds.

After 45 years, it had begun to deteriorate.

The Oregon Department of Transportation received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to install a solar-powered navigational lighting system on the bridge in the summer of 2011 as part of a $355,000 pilot project.

The demonstration project is intended to test the lights’ performance in windy and low-light conditions.

“We’re not really worried about the panels charging,” said ODOT project manager Paul Christiansen. “We think that will be fine.” The real concern is how the lights will hold up in 100-mph winds.

The new lights are bright, high-efficiency LEDs.

The original lights have yet to be removed. “I’ve heard the plan is to remove the electrical system when we’re sure the solar-powered [system] will work,” Christiansen said.

Weather stations and cameras were tied into the solar panels as well.


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