Opes Solutions Supplies Solar Technology for Improved Safety in Ports
10 May 2020 by OPES SOLUTIONS
The patented ‘LifeLadder’ is an innovative safety feature for quay walls and is currently installed in the industrial ports, city wharfs and marinas of more than 22 countries worldwide. The ladders make harbor fronts safer by addressing two major issues: visibility and maintenance. Made of reinforced synthetic modules, the ladders are non-corrosive, maintenance-free and have already proven their worth in harsh maritime environments. LifeLadder’s bright yellow modules make them highly visible in the daytime while solar-powered LED lights illuminate them at night and thus provide a clear signpost to safety. Mostly unlit, traditional quay wall ladders are barely visible at night and difficult to find in an emergency. The LED lighting significantly increases LifeLadder’s safety performance, even during normal operation.
Solar energy supply even in the far north
“The LifeLadder is a good example of how solar power makes new functions possible in products and applications that were previously hardly feasible,” said Robert Händel, chief executive of Opes Solutions. “Connecting individual safety ladders to the power grid can be complex. With the help of our highly efficient off-grid solar panels and the integrated battery, however, Port-Safety’s ladders remain reliably and consistently visible all year round even without a grid connection, and at latitudes of up to 60 degrees north.” The 60-degree latitude runs north of Oslo and Stockholm.
Integrated solar panels from Opes Solutions with an output of 4.3 W are equipped with 3.2mm tempered glass on the front while the back consists of 2.5mm floated glass, making them tough enough to walk on. An inner layer of EVA provides the desired black coloring.
“When dealing with safety equipment, quality is crucial and we are very pleased with the products supplied by Opes Solutions,” said Lars Techt Myrhøj, operations director and founder of Port-Safety.
Photovoltaics facilitate smart safety and sensor solutions
The possibilities for the application of solar technology in safety-related fields go far beyond the supply of lighting solutions, as Opes Solutions’ customer projects show. In parallel with the increasing development of smart cities goes the demand for sensor solutions for the collection of safety-related traffic data. This includes, for example, traffic density measurements and analysis of traffic turning at intersections as a means of optimizing the switching of traffic lights. The decentralized installation of these sensors can make the specific power supply required for individual sensors both complex and expensive. This is where photovoltaics comes into its own. “Today’s sensors have only a low power requirement, which modern PV panels can easily cover. Without off-grid solar modules, regular maintenance is necessary to replace batteries,” said Opes CEO Händel. “This increases the cost which is why, in most cases, solar energy in combination with rechargeable batteries is the most economical and sustainable option.”