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Solar (PV) Pontoon Lighting

EETS (Energy Environmental Technical Services) were approached by Cardiff Yacht Club who asked if it would be possible to construct  a solar PV lighting solution for the pontoons at the Cardiff Yacht club. The club is centrally located on the edge of Cardiff Bay overlooking the Wetlands Nature Reserve.  After discussing the Solar Lighting requirement with the Harbour Master a  solution was proposed and has been trialled.

The access to the yachts and motor boats is along a floating pontoon which is constructed of black plastic blocks. This can be a hazard at night, when there is a danger of walking too close to the edge and falling off into the water.

The solution was to fit Solar PV pontoon lighting on each steel pile column. Each light would show a gentle illumination at all times of darkness, and would increase to full brightness when the PIR sensor detects movement.

This enables a sailor walking towards his vessel to see clearly the direction of the next pile, and to have the pontoon illuminated as he approaches.

The challenge with solar lighting is always whether it will receive enough daylight in midwinter to charge the battery and so provide light throughout the night.

The system was designed to a 95%  factor of security, meaning it should provide light 95% of the time all year around.

The unit has a built-in PIR sensor to detect movement, and has a high efficiency solar panel and Lithium battery pack supplying an LED light unit.

A prototype trial system was fitted in the Autumn of 2016, and was fully operational through to the winter solstice.