When walkers take part in the ILLUMINATE Twilight Walk in Kapolei next month, they’ll have an opportunity to first-hand experience Hawaiian Electric’s new solar-rechargeable, battery storage, LED light towers as they brighten up the event site and parking. Hawaiian Electric is the first company in Hawaiʻi to own the high-efficiency hybrid technology lighting for use during nighttime utility work.
The new equipment requires less fuel, emits little to no carbon dioxide emissions and produces less noise than conventional light towers.
“When in operation using battery power, the unit is completely silent, which makes this lighting apparatus ideal for use in residential areas” said Lane Hiramoto, Hawaiian Electric generation services manager. When in operation with the engine running, at 7 meters distance (or just over 21 feet), the noise level is 65 decibels or about the level of road traffic.
A key reason for selecting the light towers was the Kubota hybrid diesel engine that combines solar energy with a DC generator. Four solar panels collect sunlight to charge the 24-volt DC battery, and six 150-watt LED floodlights with horizontal and vertical 180-degree angle lighting possibilities provide high-efficiency, super bright lighting.
A light tower can provide up to eight hours of runtime off the battery bank, and when depleted, the trailer engine auto-starts to recharge the batteries. This helps lower operational costs by reducing fuel consumption and engine maintenance due to the low engine use.
Another benefit of the lighting unit is the trailer’s 7-section, steel-galvanized vertical tower that is corrosion resistant to Hawaiʻi’s salt air.
“We had this on our radar for a couple of years but it was a challenge to purchase because the manufacturer, Verdegro®, is based in the Netherlands,” added Hiramoto. Once Verdegro opened a U.S. office, the utility immediately put in an order for four light tower trailers, each weighing in at 2,171 pounds. The shipment took about six months to arrive.
Hawaiian Electric has used the hybrid technology light towers at its Ward Base Yard during recent overnight work on property and is providing the lighting as a community service for the Queen’s Medical Center West ILLUMINATE Twilight Walk on May 11, 2019, 4:30 p.m. at Kapolei Regional Park.