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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-15-2010, 11:17 PM
INTEGRA Works Inc. has just been awarded the contract to light the new "Welcome to Muskoka" signs that are being installed across the District. These highway signs will be lit using 100% Solar power, and 100% LED lamps (of course) as they are completely removed from any grid / power source. This is an exciting and challenging new direction for us. I will be sure to post photos of the finished system(s) when they are complete.

(Gotta love Federal Infrastructure Investment Programs! :) )

David Gretzmier
04-15-2010, 11:58 PM
James that is awesome. this reminds me of the real estate and yard sign thread a few months back. I am anxious to see how you set up the battery ( lifepo? nimh?) and how many square inches of solar cells you need to give you proper charging for however many hours it will need to be on. keep us up to date on testing and install !!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-16-2010, 12:09 AM
Using multiple 130W Solar PV panels, custom mounts, charge controller with integrated timer, AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries, bullets, stems, LED MR16 lamps, etc.

Pro-Scapes
04-16-2010, 05:43 PM
Using multiple 130W Solar PV panels, custom mounts, charge controller with integrated timer, AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries, bullets, stems, LED MR16 lamps, etc.

Just curious. What happens when the solar panels get loaded up with snow or it is a very dark and stormy day and they do not get enough sun to fully charge ?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-16-2010, 06:55 PM
When you design and spec a solar system you set the panels for optimal elevation and incline according to your latitude and location. You also build in redundancy in terms of battery capacity and charging capacity in order to overcome less than optimal weather conditions and limited sun conditions such as during the winter months. You basically overbuild the solar system. There are lots of rersources and formulas available to do your calculations, sort of like what we do with planning voltage drop.
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extlights
04-17-2010, 12:04 AM
They've been using solar panels to power different types of lighting for misc. signs along the roads here for a few years now. As far as I know there really hasn't been any issues with it.

Pro-Scapes
04-17-2010, 07:15 AM
Funny, I went to adjust a job we installed yesterday. I was standing in front of the home and the nieghbor comes out to admire my work and asked me if it was solar. I had to chuckle at this then he asked me about building him a hybrid system and I told him I would be more than happy to discuss it with him. They he said from his research he felt we could do the house and landscape in the 2k range. I look over at his house and I am thinking it would be around 9-10k to do halogens.

:laugh::laugh:

GreenLight
04-17-2010, 08:17 AM
They he said from his research he felt we could do the house and landscape in the 2k range. I look over at his house and I am thinking it would be around 9-10k to do halogens.

:laugh::laugh:

Nothing better than a customer insinuating what your price "should be" based on his/her "research". In my experience, you will generally spend as much time explaining each charge with these people as you will installing it. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't turn down the work though as long as they agreed to my price.

David Gretzmier
04-17-2010, 10:18 AM
while pete/sal is irritating, he does get me to thinking, and asking in a nice way-

I would think that it is true that solar power in canada is different than solar power in california. I am guessing the solar panels will have to be mounted on a steep slope to encourage the snow to run off quickly.and also since the batteries will be outside rather than inside, your cold weather (-5 degrees? -20 degrees? ) amp hour capacity in winter has to be a huge consideration, given that sometimes ( 2 days? 5 days? 20 days? )the cells will be completely covered in snow and not feeding power to the batteries.

also, I am guessing the charging/inverter sysem as well will need to fairly robust to handle the temps.

since I have very little experience with solar, I guess or ask questions. Are you bringing in any canada solar folks to help you on this project ?

irrig8r
04-17-2010, 01:19 PM
My recollection from an intro class on solar back in the early 80's (yeah, lots has changed since then, and in those days "passive solar" in architectural design was the most effective return on costs)... the degree of panel orientation had a direct relationship to the angle of the sun at your latitude, i.e. a collector panel at the equator could be virtually flat...

The funniest story I heard then was about Marlon Brando having solar installed at his South Pacific island retreat, with too vague instructions from a North American manual... he had the panels installed facing south... and of course they didn't work.

ELumin8
04-22-2010, 09:31 PM
James,
Have you considered Crousehinds solar power modules? They are a very well educated manufacturer. I used them on many heli pads in private residences, and other industrial/speciality lighting applications, I am on their email list and saw a flyer on their solar stuff a couple of months ago.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-22-2010, 09:38 PM
Never heard of them. I am using as much Canadian Made product as possible on this job.

PV Panels, Batteries, Mounts, Poles, Plates, Cable are all Canadian made and in some cases locally sourced. Fixtures are made in the USA and the Lamps are my own of course.

ELumin8
04-22-2010, 09:48 PM
They are known mostly for making explosion proof lighting, ask you local electrical supplier they will know of them. Keep in mind that they sell direct on the heli pad lighting, but other products they go through distribution.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-22-2010, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the info... I have a heli-pad project in the wings and will check them out against some other products I have found.

Regards

David Gretzmier
04-23-2010, 12:11 AM
you are lighting a heli-pad? man, dude, sometimes you gotta learn to say no. That's extremely high liability stuff for a guy that seems to already have his hands pretty busy. good luck.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-23-2010, 07:08 AM
you are lighting a heli-pad? man, dude, sometimes you gotta learn to say no. That's extremely high liability stuff for a guy that seems to already have his hands pretty busy. good luck.

David. Thanks for your concern. It is not I who will be lighting the heli-pad but as the owners lighting consultant it will be me who makes the product and system decisions. We will then contract out to the appropriate company.
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indylights
04-23-2010, 05:13 PM
you are lighting a heli-pad? man, dude, sometimes you gotta learn to say no. That's extremely high liability stuff for a guy that seems to already have his hands pretty busy. good luck.

Why is it any concern of yours if he is lighting a heli-pad? If he is as professional as he appears to be on this board, I'm sure he'll have all his bases covered. And weren't you the one who was complaining about how much he was charging a while ago. Like that's any of your business. Maybe that's why he does what he does and you have to copy and steal someone's identity to try and get business. Instead of ripping on landscapers and everybody else who does lighting, why don't you focus on your own business and then you won't have to copy and paste someone elses faq page on your website or mislead customers with a copycat name. I still have zero respect for anything you say or contribute on this board after all that came to light, so your concern for someone elses business practices I'm sure is falling on a lot of deaf ears.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes

nepatsfan
04-23-2010, 08:42 PM
Never heard of them. I am using as much Canadian Made product as possible on this job.

PV Panels, Batteries, Mounts, Poles, Plates, Cable are all Canadian made and in some cases locally sourced. Fixtures are made in the USA and the Lamps are my own of course.

Better off getting stuff from china

David Gretzmier
04-23-2010, 09:54 PM
I think James appreciates the gravity of my concern over a heli pad. there are tons of FAA reg's on approach path, obstructions, perimeter lights, colors, etc. Here in the US, I'm pretty sure you have to be FAA lighting ceritfied.

The bigger reason for me not to take on a project of this magnitude is the human life liability. If the lighting fails, someone could die. Even if I subbed this project out, I would still feel responsible. The liability of doing FAA lighting is probably the highest there is. I'm pretty sure there are fines if it is done wrong here or malfunctions.

I can handle the risk and liability of my Christmas light installers on roofs and such. I'm insured for that, and they know the danger of falling when they come to work for me. I am not insured for either designing, installing or even being a consultant on FAA stuff.

I guess every FAA lighting company starts with one project somewhere, and I have to say, James is as smart a lighting guy as anyone. If anyone will try to cover all the bases the first time around, James would be the guy. good luck.

and scott, I do appreciate the comments. I can understand your disappointment in me. I let others down in my behavior as well. It is my hope that though honest posts, fact based opinions and advice I can win back yours and others respect.

BrandonV
05-17-2010, 06:07 PM
James would you mind sharing where you're getting the solar setup? I have the potential for an identical project and depending on power availability I'd like to light the sign w/ solar.... but it'll need to be GOOD solar. If you could post me some help or an IM. This isn't a big time sign probably 5' x 3 one sided and I' might do a few uplights on the landscaping but it'll need to be good product, I've done solar power irrigation systems before but not lighting, so any help will be very appreciated.

BrandonV
05-18-2010, 08:06 PM
Ha! I got the message James. Thanks.
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David Gretzmier
05-18-2010, 08:55 PM
seems solar is cropping up everywhere- James, I have a subdivision with a few small park common areas that have no electrical run to them and are surrounded by asphalt, and the POA folks are curious about a few large solar panels per park and a small battery system for each, along with maybe 10 LED fixtures at each park to light some bench seating areas and uplight a few small trees. It seems as though LED is coming to find me whether I am ready or not. If they are interested, I would be looking to you for info and and also sourcing the LED retrofit bulbs from you as well. any info you have you can PM me would be great.

BrandonV
05-18-2010, 09:09 PM
I'm not a solar fan for homes but in areas, like the one I'm working on, where there is no power and the only power need is lights why pay for a service? I think it can easily be more cost effective to go solar. I've been a big fan of solar for reemote sprinkler systems and they've worked great. In the case I'm working on now it's just a sign miles from power, why have a meteer/service and all that when a solar system can do it.
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-18-2010, 10:26 PM
Solar / LED is certainly a feasible route for small scale applications. The signs I am lighting are using a couple of PV panels, charge controller, AGM batteries, and 9 bullet fixtures fitted with 5.4W LED MR16 lamps. LED and solar are a very good marriage of technology, esp. since the LED Lamps accept both AC and DC power, removing any need for inefficient rectifiers or inverters.

David Gretzmier
05-19-2010, 07:57 PM
so the LED's just get a DC feed from the batteries? not trying to be funny here, but is there a photocell in there somewhere? without a transformer, how do you turn the lights on or off?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-19-2010, 08:16 PM
Sorry forgot to say there is a digital astro timer in there too. On at dusk off at preset. Timer is powered off of storage cells.
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