Cii News July 16, 2012
Following its hosting of the Cop 17, the eThekwini Municipality has embarked on a project that will reduce its dependence on electricity.
The city is going “green” with its Solar Powered Robots Pilot Project.
The municipality decided to approach a new way to power traffic lights and recently unveiled its first set of solar traffic lights at the intersections of Bram Fischer (Ordinance) and Samora Machel Roads (Aliwal), Samora Machel, and Masabalala Yengwa Avenue (NMR), the New Age reported.
CEO of the eThekwini Transport Authority, Thami Mnyati, told Cii News that the city hosted Cop 17 last year and now wants to implement its own green program.
“The Transport authority has been looking at various projects. One of the projects is the replacement of all the incandescent lights of the traffic signals with LED lighting, reducing the power consumption,” he said.
The project is a collaboration of several partners which include Eskom and the traffic department. “We in partnership with Eskom began investigating the feasibility of utilising solar power to provide electricity for our traffic signals,” Mnyati said.
At this stage they are assessing whether it would be cost effective project.
The newly installed solar-powered traffic lights are run by 12 batteries, contain a specially designed gel that is energy efficient and have a lifespan of more than 10 years.
The batteries can store stand-by electricity to power the lights for three days in severe weather, with no sunlight. The system has a fail-safe feature which allows it to switch to electricity, if needed.