Hi-Vis’ Intelligent Traffic Systems can now keep road users safer in more diverse environments thanks to UNSW researchers’ solar and battery technology recommendations.
Hi-Vis is a leading integrator of innovative products, systems and services throughout Australia for the Roads, Marine and Mining sectors; and a proudly Australian family-owned and operated company for almost 35 years. Over the past 8 years, Hi-Vis has developed a wide range of Intelligent Traffic Systems, designed to improve the safety of our roads and users.
Hi-Vis in conjunction with the UNSW developed a charging system for solar-powered electronic warning signs that could operate in very low light environments, with duration capability in excess of 21 days. The need for this was driven by the significant barriers to maintaining a power source to warning systems in critical black spots. Black spots are often in low solar activity areas and locations with no access to mains power. Current warning systems only have an average of 3 to 4 days of battery life, limiting road safety systems' sustainability and the safety of road users.
Hi-Vis' TechVoucher project involved a power management study of an LED warning sign product (Chevron) range. UNSW undertook a feasibility study and made technical recommendations to extend the Intelligent Traffic System battery life by increasing power management efficiency of the units and developing technology to power the signs in low solar activity locations.
"We had complementary skill sets. We know the application and electronic side of it. What we didn't know was on the solar panel side of it and the recharging challenges."
Hi-Vis has been able to pilot an improved product due to the TechVoucher project. The multi-disciplinary team's recommendations led to product improvements in two key areas.
- The solar researchers recommended a new flexible solar technology appropriate for low solar black spot environments.
- The electrical engineering team recommended a more power-supply efficient signage system.
Bringing these together has allowed Hi-Vis to produce a significantly improved black spot warning system.
"The two pieces came together. We developed a better sign that was nowhere near as power-hungry and a better power supply from the new solar panels. These solar panels were flexible so they could actually be bent to a certain shape that better fit the sun's movement. We have since integrated those, and they're being used by Transport."
Brett Watson – Managing Director – Hi-Vis Group