Solar traffic lights a hit in Cape Town

Posted by Laura Grant on February 29, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

Solar traffic lights in Cape Town, South AfricaSouth Africa’s first set of solar-powered traffic lights in the Cape Town suburb of Ottery have received positive feedback from everyone from the municipality to motorists, Delivery magazine reports.

The lights have been such a success that people have been asking for them to be installed elsewhere, said the National Energy Efficiency Agency’s Barry Bredenkamp. The Central Energy Fund announced earlier this year that it did indeed have plans to install solar traffic lights in major cities around the country to prevent the traffic chaos caused by Eskom’s “load shedding”. More than 2,000 critical intersections have been identified in Johannesburg alone. One set of solar traffic lights has already been installed in the commercial suburb of Braamfontein. Durban, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit have also been earmarked for intervention. The National Energy Efficiency Agency will manage the project, the local government magazine reports.

The Ottery lights cost of about R150,000 to install, Bredenkamp said. But if solar traffic lights were to be installed in larger quantities the price of a set of eight lights could come down to R110,000, he said. A conventional set of eight pole traffic lights consumes as much electricity as “a family of four occupying a three-bedroom house”, he said.

Theft of the solar panels and batteries has been a source of concern, but Bredenkamp says that the panels are located high up on street poles and the batteries are in a concrete casing at the bottom of the poles to prevent vandalism, so theft hasn’t been an issue. The lights also have a control mechanism that alerts the service provider if they are being tampered with.


One Response to “Solar traffic lights a hit in Cape Town”

  1. Brad
    September 17th, 2009 @ 9:56 am

    I would love to know the name and contact information of the suppier of these lights. Can you help?

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