Times Square’s first 100% solar powered billboard

Solar Powerd BillboardDigital office equipment provider Ricoh Americas Corporation has completed a 100 percent solar powered electronic billboard located at Times Square.

The 6,000 square foot solar powered billboard, which is 47 feet high by 126 feet long, is the first billboard in Times Square to be totally lit by solar energy. It is powered solely by 62 solar panels and 24 thin-film PV solar modules, and illuminated by 16 LED floodlights.

Ricoh has promised not to use conventional electricity from the grid to light the Eco Board and will allow it go dark due to lack of sunlight. By using only solar power to light the sign, Ricoh is playing a part in reducing the amount of carbon emissions released by conventional electrical power sources.

Californian based company Rec Solar supplied the solar modules, optimized for low-light conditions used at the top of the board, whilst Ohio company Xunlight Corporation manufactured the thin-film PV solar modules. The flexible membrane technology used to create the solar modules was provided by the Cooley group.

Jeff Flath, President of the Cooley Group said, “We believe that the opportunities for this system are virtually endless. As the evolution of TFPV (i.e. thin film photovoltaic) technology advances, the integration with our flexible composites will make our products more affordable to a larger percentage of applications. We have been working on thin film photovoltaic integration for the last several years and are now introducing systems for commercial roofing, outdoor advertising, and military tents.”

Bryan Rose, VP of Cooley’s Commercial Graphics business says, “These lightweight systems could be installed on some portion of the 450,000 billboards currently in the United States. Each of these billboards would generate clean renewable energy to either power the billboard lighting system or would be sold back to local utility companies through net metering or feed in tariffs programs.”

A special ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Eco Board will take place on June 8 in New York’s Times Square.

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