The sun may not have been shining, but that hasn’t been a problem for New York’s new solar-powered real-time passenger information system.
The system uses the Telia IoT Edge smart gateway to deliver real-time bus arrival information to sidewalk signage as well as assisting the visually impaired with location tones and spoken information.
Together with partners Traffic Systems Inc and Daktronics; the first solar-powered sign was launched in Queens Boulevard, New York in September 2020. Since then it has achieved 100% uptime throughout the winter, answering the common misconception of, “what happens when the sun doesn’t shine?”
Even during the darkest days of an unusually cold and snowy winter, the solar panel produced enough energy to keep the sign fully functional. In fact, during the winter period, batteries never dropped below 70% state of charge (SoC), which means that even on multiple consecutive cloudy days, the solar panel was still able to add energy to the battery, albeit not to reach a fully charged battery.
This success is a shining example of how solar powered signs can be used, even in northern climates, to help make our cities safer and more sustainable.