Solutions From the Sun

Airports are among facilities turning to solar-powered lighting for various applications

Friday, August 31, 2007

Visitors to the Gold Coast Airport will notice the distinctive blue lights that have recently been installed to mark the general aviation taxiways.

The automatic solar-powered lights have been supplied by local company Orion Solar Pty Ltd. Sales manager Richard Holliday said solar-powered aviation lights were relatively new to Australia.

"Apart from having zero running costs, solar-powered lighting has the major advantage of not requiring the installation of underground wiring, thereby avoiding the possibility of closed taxiways and runways," he said.

"Orion's aviation lights are completely self-contained, install in minutes and have been field proven in rugged military environments.

"They also comply with the international safety regulations specified by ICAO."

Gold Coast Airport's electrical supervisor Peter Dunn is pleased with the new lighting and was impressed by how quickly they were up and running.

"We have had the local CASA representative out to review the lights and he was satisfied they meet with local safety requirements." he said.

Mr Holliday said the installation by Gold Coast Airport is indicative of what a lot of airports in Australia might do in the future.

"Our lights are not just for the benefit of major airports.

"Remote airfields and emergency evacuation sites without available power can now be equipped with lighting.

"In June, Orion supplied lights for the Orchard Beach airstrip on Fraser Island as well as remote activated helipad lighting for the island.

"With the increasing numbers of tourists visiting Fraser and the commonly occurring accidents on the beach, the new lights will be a life saver.

"No remote airfield need be without night-time access just because they do not have a readily available power source."

Orion Solar Solutions won the Emerging Business category of the July Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards.

Fast Facts

  • During 2006 the minerals and energy industry was the largest market sector for Orion's growing business
  • Solar-powered LED roadway marking lights charge during the day, even in cloudy conditions, and turn on automatically at night making it easy for trucks to negotiate around mining sites
  • Orion also supplies solar-powered pedestrian crossing lights
  • For more information go to www.orionsolar.com.au
  • Businesses can nominate for the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards on www.goldcoastbusinessawards.com.au