Solar LED “Waggers” to UK Streets

November 20, 2002
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VICTORIA, British Columbia, Canada – November 20, 2002 ``

Solar LED lighting manufacturer Carmanah Technologies Corporation has supplied the city of Bristol, England with approximately 150 units of the company’s solar-powered LED school crossing flashers, the “Dual Flash IQ.”

Worth approximately CAN$125,000 (US$78,000) the units were purchased through Carmanah’s U.K. distribution partner, Solagen in September 2002 and represent the first large scale purchase of this product. Bristol has indicated that it may embark on a similar project next year with further purchases.

“This initial order provides further confirmation that the work we’ve done and time we have invested in the European highways and public transportation sectors is reaping rewards for the company,” said Art Aylesworth, Carmanah’s CEO. “It is exciting to see the ongoing acceptance of our core technology in sectors other than the marine industry.”

School crossing flashers, known as “waggers” or “wig-wags” by British street lighting engineers, are placed at 50 meters from school crossing to warn approaching traffic that children may be crossing the road ahead. The Dual Flash IQ units from Carmanah will be installed in the next few weeks at 61 locations around schools throughout Bristol.

Many U.K. cities like Bristol are actively looking for Renewable Energy solutions at a reasonable cost, making solar LED technology attractive. The contract for Dual Flash IQs was awarded to Carmanah after a successful field trial of four units last winter, and after a competitive bidding process that included seven other companies.

The city of Bristol will benefit from the solar technology through money saved on cabling, trenching and electrical connections necessary for hard-wired lights. The city can install each unit in approximately 30 minutes, with the LEDs for this application expected to operate for up to 40 years.

Carmanah’s Dual Flash IQ unit is the only solar-powered, LED illuminated wagger available in the U.K. with official “Type Approval,” from the U.K. Highways Agency, which the company received in September 2002, a critical step for widespread use of the product beyond prototype field trials.

To accommodate its expansion into the U.K., Carmanah opened a London office at the beginning of November with key personnel relocated from the company’s headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

In September, Carmanah announced the sale of its 50,000th solar-powered LED light since commencing operations in 1998.