The first totally solar-driven billboard scroller

By Fred Kuhlman • mei 18th, 2009

solarbb300The German company DISTEC has developed the first solar-driven scroller for outdoor advertising. It generates its own electricity. No CO² emission. 100% energy self-sufficient system that can be operated at remote locations. Very simple (in their own words): A revolutionary development in green outdoor advertising. We fully agree.

Whereas conventional electricity-driven outdoor media can only be installed at locations with direct access to the electrical grid, this innovation offers a revolutionary new flexibility to outdoor advertisers. The energy supply by state-of-the-art solar panels of the latest technology and a mounting adopted properly to each unit offer to outdoor advertising companies the flexibility to locate these scrollers at almost any locale, however remote it might be. A fixed, poured-in-place base is as possible as a temporary placement on a mobile base, offering the flexibility for portability.

The solar unit, developed by DISTEC particularly for this application, uses premium quality monocrystalline panels manufactured by Schott®. The solar unit tracks by means of a two-axis tracking system in an angle of horizontally up to 270°, and vertically up to 85°. This means that it automatically follows the course of the sun and thus generates approximately 40% more power than conventional, static solar cells. As an additional benefit, the tracking reduces the panel space needed to provide the requisite energy.

Special LED illumination equipped for solar power. With the Enblue lamps placed inside the scroller, the posters are backlit by special LED tubes of the Enblue brand. These LED tubes have been optimized for the solar powered system in terms of consumption and beam angle so that they achieve an adequate and, above all, plane illumination of the posters.

Intelligent battery charging control and a special scrolling device. The DISTEC developed intelligent battery charging control and the scrolling system, particularly optimized for this application, have been tested for months and have now matured and are ready to be brought to the market. With this battery charging system DISTEC achieves a higher yield of usable energy by a very economical energy transfer from the batteries to the scrolling device. The scrolling system itself has also been optimized to fit perfectly to the solar driven system. The battery is located in the basement.

“For the outdoor advertising companies the flexibility to install their scrollers temporarily and without the need for electricity is an absolutely new and inspiring aspect”, Michael Schoening, DISTEC’s CEO, points out. “Now, they can easily install scrollers at locations which due to missing electricity supply have so far not even been considered at all. The championship in South Africa next year is one of the first major events we are looking forward to.“

Various sizes are available

Michael Schoening points out that not only the well-established 18/1 Bogen size is available, but also larger formats, such as a 6×3 m (46-sheet) scroller, can be produced. The present stage of development offers single-sided scrollers with an illumination period of up to 8 hours. However, already within a few months, the first double-sided scroller will be ready to be launched, Michael Schoening says.

To provide a closer look at the functioning of the solar-driven scroller, DISTEC has put a short video on their website under DISTEC GmbH is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative outdoor advertising displays and street furniture.


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