Rachel Preen on Prolectric’s goal to reduce its environmental impact with zero emission, hassle-free solar technology, specially designed to deliver increased worksite sustainability, safety and efficiency

Clearly, there has never been a better time to switch to solar. As off-grid, renewable lighting and power specialists, we are incredibly proud to be part of the solar revolution transforming the sustainability of the rail and infrastructure sectors, alongside the health and safety of its workers and local communities. It is encouraging to witness the significant strides that have been made towards a cleaner, greener rail sector, but the race is far from complete, with so much more for us all to do in every facet of modern-day business to achieve our 2050 net zero targets.

We are fully supportive of the rail industry’s commitments to reduce emissions. Working together with our rail partners, as leading manufacturers of sustainable solar lighting, solar hybrid power generators and solar CCTV systems, our specialist range of environmentally friendly products work hard every day on worksites across the rail sector, providing direct like-for-like replacements for diesel systems, making them a simple switch for companies looking to lower their carbon footprint.

With quiet, zero emission and hassle-free technology, all Prolectric products have been specifically designed to deliver increased worksite sustainability, safety and efficiency. The technology is tried, tested and proven to work all year round, in all weather conditions, and is backed by real world performance data and customer testimonials.

Network Rail and Colas Rail Ltd.’s Diesel-Free ‘Site of the Future’
In 2019, Prolectric’s solar technology was used on a major rail renewal project at Llanwern, South Wales. The ambitious project led by Network Rail and Colas Rail Ltd used innovative solar lighting and power generation to prove the viability of a sustainable ‘Site of the Future’. The pioneering collaboration achieved a 97 per cent reduction in diesel use, saved 6,000 litres of fuel and more than 15 tonnes of CO2 during the 14-day initiative.

The results were a significant achievement marking an environmental milestone towards clean, carbon-free off-grid working, in support of Network Rail’s CP6 target to reduce non traction energy consumption by almost 20 per cent and carbon emissions by 25 per cent.

Prolectric’s clean, silent solar lighting and power generation technologies were used across the site covering more than 21 acres. This included access roads, car parking, welfare cabin and track working area.

With more than 70 rail staff employed on site, two 25kW Solatainer solar generators replaced conventional diesel generators providing light and heat for seven welfare cabins, including site offices, a canteen, toilets and a drying room.

A total of 21 Prolectric ProLight solar tower lights illuminated the site compound, car parking and work preparation areas, as well as being deployed on the trackside, where 200 metres of ProTrack battery-powered link lighting was also used. In addition, Prolectric ProTemp column streetlights were positioned along the access road to the site.

The project was the first of its kind. Previously diesel generators were the only option to provide reliable off-grid power to support rail renewal work. The ‘Site of the Future’ project made a viable case for the use of solar technologies, which are now making a vital contribution to non-traction carbon targets, as well as reducing the noise, smell and air pollution from diesel exhausts. Staff and visitors to the Llanwern compound remarked on how quiet the worksite was, compared to the usual continual background hum of diesel generators.

The Llanwern ‘Site of the Future’ project was the culmination of determined development work driven by Network Rail and the Colas Rail team to adapt and refine solar and renewable technologies for the rail industry, with an aspiration to achieve diesel-free operations as standard.

Pioneering Telematics
Central to the Prolectric solar power philosophy are the Prolectric Power and Lighting Portals, which offer unrivalled telematic software engineering to provide remote monitoring, control and reporting a cross our hybrid power and solar tower lighting range. The Prolectric Power and Lighting Portals are an industry game-changer in remote device fleet management, enabling cutting-edge access to critical performance data of each unit, with customised real-time responsive control and alert functionality from any location.

By combining intelligent hardware, software, and GPS tracking, the Power Portal gathers over 400 pieces of telemetry data to provide a complete view of each unit’s operating condition, including fuel usage, solar generation and the battery’s state of charge.

Working in close collaboration with rail partners, Prolectric expects future advances in the design, function and versatility of solar and battery technology, with telematics driving forward the capabilities of off-grid solar light and power generation.

About Prolectric
Prolectric is the off-grid, renewable lighting and power specialists. Leading manufacturers of sustainable solar lighting, solar hybrid power generators and solar CCTV systems – to the construction, national house building, infrastructure and rail industries.

The company’s game-changing solar technology provides a practical way for businesses to achieve their carbon-reduction commitments, enabling them to move away from polluting fossil fuelled or mains powered systems. Our solar tower lights, hybrid generators and CCTV provide high-performance site lighting, power and security – with minimal environmental impact and low running costs. In particular, our lighting systems produce zero carbon, zero noise, need little maintenance and require zero fuel.

A range of environmentally friendly, advanced performance products have been designed as direct like-for-like diesel replacements, making them a simple switch. The technology is tried and tested and proven to work all year round, in all weather conditions, over multiple winter and summer cycles. This is backed up by real world performance data and customer testimonials.

As a specialist sustainability disruptor, Prolectric was awarded a Queen’s Award for sustainable development in 2021 and holds a Gold CSR accreditation.

Prolectric’s pioneering solar and off-grid systems are designed, built and engineered by an expert in-house Research & Development team at the company’s Headquarters in Clevedon, Bristol. For further information visit: www.prolectric.co.uk