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Solar and biodiesel power traffic lights

06/08/2018

The Blackburn Road Level Crossing Removal Project has delivered environmental benefits to the local community in the form of reduced air and noise emissions, by using a solar and biodiesel generator to power traffic lights.

In early 2017, the project required temporary traffic lights to ease construction vehicle movements for the major earth and rail works. Traffic signal cables were strung overhead to avoid the need for underground conduits and pits.

Diesel generators would typically be used to power traffic signals. However, the risk of having a single power source with no backup, the need for constant refuelling and the proximity to local businesses triggered an investigation into a more reliable and cleaner alternative power source.

The project procured a hybrid generator system from a local green-energy supplier, which provided two sources of power: solar via a battery, and biodiesel via a generator. It also included a large fuel auxiliary tank to minimise refuelling.

As well as reduced air and noise emissions, the generator cost 20 per cent less than a conventional diesel system and meant less refuelling and handling of hazardous materials, resulting in time savings and improved safety.

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