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Turtle friendly solar lighting

Turtle Friendly Lighting Goes Solar

By | Blog

It has been known for quite some time that artificial night lighting affects wildlife such as insects and turtles by disorientating them away from their natural breeding habitats such as beaches and coastal areas. Sea turtle hatchlings naturally use the darkness of the horizon to determine their journey from the nest to the ocean, by adding artificial light the landward horizon is no longer the darkest horizon which leads turtles astray – leaving them moving towards danger instead of the sea. Female sea turtles also adapted to avoid illuminated beaches after the fatal effects to their hatchlings, a study by Michael Salmon found that when coastal areas were illuminated, nesting activity declined close to zero, but when they were turned off, nesting activity increased.

While efforts began in the early 2000’s to develop LEDs with a  correlated colour temperature low enough not disrupt or alter the behaviours of turtle and wildlife populations these early prototypes came with a significant loss in efficiency.

Fast forward to today however and much has changed. These days LED fixtures with a range between 2700K and 3000K are now commercially available with equivalent energy efficiency of 5000K lamps. Furthermore, the development of different colors of LEDs and different filtering technologies has led to a range of turtle friendly lighting solutions that when powered by a green renewable energy source such as solar offer a highly adaptable environmentally responsible alternative for coastal lighting applications.

While efforts began in the early 2000’s to develop LEDs with a  correlated colour temperature low enough not disrupt or alter the behaviours of turtle and wildlife populations these early prototypes came with a significant loss in efficiency.

What can be done with lighting to ensure you are being environmentally responsible?

Reduce Brightness: Brightness not only effects turtles, the brightness of LED lighting can have a significant impact on birds, insects and other animals as well as creating light pollution. By dimming the lights, you can significantly improve the wellbeing of natural habitats and reduce light pollution. Humans naturally adapt their vision to the brightest light in the area which means that when met with darker areas visual acuity is lost. By using a dimmer light, visual acuity is more stable and will adapt to changes in brightness more easily. It is possible to reduce brightness levels of outdoor lighting to meet environmental needs while retaining the lighting levels needed for human activity.

Consider your LED’s Spectrum: By avoiding lights with shorter wavelengths such as blue or ultraviolet light, there will be less environmental impact. Using lights with longer wavelengths (such as red and yellow hues) is more friendly for not only our animals but human eyes as well. LED’s with a CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) value at the warmer end of the spectrum below have less impact on both wildlife and humans.

CCT colour index

Direct Lights Downwards: By shielding light sources to ensure they only illuminate the areas required, and do not create any upward illumination you reduce the environmental effects, particularly light pollution.

Duration: By reducing the time that your light sources stay on, or how bright they remain throughout the night can also reduce impacts. For example, lights that are motion activated or that reduce intensity during times late at night or very early morning when people are less likely to be using the area.

Reference: Salmon, Michael. (2003). Artificial night lighting and sea turtles. Biologist. 50. 163-168.

If you need any information on finding an environmentally responsible solution for illuminating coastal areas, jetties or marinas, simply
Let us assist you
council-government-portfolio

Can I Retrofit Solar Lighting to an Existing Pole?

By | Blog, Latest News
Whether you can retrofit solar lighting to one of your existing poles is determined by asking two questions:
  • Will the existing pole withstand the extra weight of the solar system?
  • Is the existing pole in a shadow-free area where direct sunlight is available?

Will the existing pole withstand the extra weight of the solar system?

Because of the additional weight and sail area (wind loading) when installing a solar lighting system, your pole will need to be manufactured and rated to withstand this. If your current pole is suitable for the increased weight and sail area, then yes you can consider retrofitting solar lighting to an existing pole. If the existing pole has not been built to withstand the extra weight, it will need to be replaced with a stronger pole.

Is the existing pole in a shadow-free area where direct sunlight is available?

As solar lighting relies on sunlight to operate, the solar panel will need to be installed in a shadow-free area under direct sunlight, where there are no trees obscuring the panel. If your existing pole is not located in such an area, then the solar lighting system will be inefficient or in some cases not operate. However, if the existing pole is in a shadow-free area with direct sunlight then yes you can consider retrofitting solar lighting to an existing pole.

So can I retrofit solar lighting to my existing pole?

If you answered yes to both questions, then it is possible for you to retrofit solar lighting to an existing pole. Green Frog Systems’ Kit Form Solar Street Lights : GFS-200-KT and GFS-400-KT are purpose built solutions designed to mount on an existing pole, replacing mains powered street lighting and offering an environmentally friendly, off-grid solution.

If you answered no to one of the above questions, then you will need to reconsider using your existing pole. Our (Everything you need to install except the concrete) GFS-200 & GFS-400 Solar Street Lights offer the option to include poles that have been engineered and rated for the weight and sail area of the solar systems.

Is there someone who could help me determine if a solar lighting retrofit is suitable for my project?

You can contact our experienced lighting specialists who will assist you in finding the best solution for your project. If your existing pole is not feasible, our specialists can also help you to find an alternative solar lighting solution that is economical and efficient over the long term.

Solar Lighting Benefits for Your Community

How Solar Lighting Benefits Your Community

By | Blog, Latest News
Solar Benefits for Your Community Infographic

How does Solar Lighting Benefit Councils, Communities, Parks & Recreational Areas?

Renewable energy solutions such as solar lighting can create future-proof sustainable systems for your community, allowing councils to provide public lighting assets that; make their community feel safer, avoid the costs of trenching, underground cabling or an electrician, and can save both on long-term energy costs and protect our environment.

1. Positive Social Impact

Public lighting assets have a significant social impact on your community. The installation of more illumination increases the public’s feelings of safety and security, which in turn drives an increase in the use of public assets such as leisure areas, parks, gardens and pathways.

By ultimately extending the number of light hours in a day, members of the community can spend more time in your public spaces; creating opportunities for more outdoor activities such as fitness groups, after work visits to dog parks, or for those commuting via bike or foot during the night hours.

While grid-tied public lighting can have similar social benefits, solar lighting goes even further in meeting the needs of your community through its significant cost benefits and positive environmental impact.

2. Significant Cost Benefits

There are significant cost benefits gained when installing solar lighting systems, particularly in areas where the infrastructure costs of traditional lighting are more significant. By using solar lighting systems, you can now bring the benefits of lighting to your community where previously it was far too costly. Some economic benefits of solar lighting include:

  • No Trenching Costs – There are significant costs involved in trenching and wiring for traditional lighting systems, which can get even higher when you add in a remote location, landscape issues or the costs of disruption to public areas. Solar lighting systems remove all this worry, with the ability to be installed anywhere, anytime with no need for trenching.
  • No Energy Costs/Utility Fees – By implementing solar as a renewable energy, solar lighting creates a stand-alone, grid free system which removes the ongoing costs of grid energy. This is especially economical in today’s energy industry, with the cost of grid supplied power only increasing.
  • Easy to Install – Green Frog Systems solar lighting solutions were engineered to be easy to install, with systems being delivered to clients in an easy to assemble kit form along with plug and play wiring that can be installed without needing an electrician. By making the systems easier to install, there are significant cost savings in the number of works crew members required for installation.

3. Positive Environmental Impact

As a renewable energy, solar lighting uses the infinite power of the sun to create energy instead of fossil fuels – reducing your communities carbon footprint. It is important that both councils and their communities work towards a more sustainable, green and environmentally friendly future for the generations to come.

Without reliance on the grid, solar lighting systems can be put in place anywhere and any time that you need it. This means that you can install our solar lighting systems without disrupting the environment as you would with standard trenching for installation.

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battery recycling scheme

Battery Recycling Scheme

By | Blog, Latest News

Green Frog Systems are an environmentally responsible business in line with our focus on light and energy storage solutions operating on renewable energy. To further enhance the communities’ efforts on reducing unnecessary landfill, we are proud to be launching our “battery take back scheme” in what we believe is a first of this kind for an Australian solar lighting manufacturer.

battery recycling scheme

Each year, a staggering 8,000 tonnes of battery waste ends up in landfill, risking our wildlife and the broader environment.

That’s why Green Frog Systems offers a ‘back to base battery return scheme’ for those batteries distributed with our range of solar powered street lights and solar energy storage systems.

By returning used batteries from any of our solar street lighting kits back to Green Frog Systems, or any of the other ABRI members (Australian Battery Recycling Initiative), you will be doing your part to reduce the thousands of tonnes of batteries that end up in landfill each and every year.

Green Frog Systems ‘back to base battery return scheme’ demonstrates our leadership and commitment to sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. This also complies with our international quality accreditation ISO 14001:2015 and PAS 99:2012.

battery recycling scheme
How does the battery recycling scheme work?

 

Either drop your used batteries from our GFS-200, GFS-400 Solar Street Lights or any one of our GFS-200/400/600 solar energy storage systems back to Green Frog Systems Head Office at 51 Langford St. Pooraka, South Australia 5095 [GET DIRECTIONS] or, for other locations across Australia contact one of the other ABRI members listed below.

The ABRI or Australian Battery Recycling Initiative is a not-for-profit association established in 2008 to promote responsible environmental management of batteries at end of life.

ABRI members provide a collection and recycling service for used automotive and other lead acid batteries. Contact the company or check their web site for details.

If you are a commercial business or if you have a large number of batteries, you can arrange for collection and recycling of used batteries through the following ABRI members (with a fee for service).

battery recycliong scheme
Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question: Is the Battery Recycling Service Free?
Answer: Yes. This service is totally free for our clients nationally and applies to any of our GFS-200, GFS-400 & GFS 200/300/600-ESS Solar Energy Storage unit batteries. These are the sealed AGM gel type batteries.

Question: Does Green Frog Systems pay freight charges to return batteries?
Answer: No. Presently this is a ‘back to base’ offer only.

Question: Why are we offering this Service?
Answer: Unlike Europe, there is no compulsory battery-recycling program for batteries in Australia. As such, over 300 million batteries end up in landfill each year. See [ Battery regulations around the world ]

Question: Will this service be available in my location?
Answer: You can return the batteries ‘back to base’ at the Green Frog Systems Head Office, located at 51 Langford St. Pooraka, South Australia 5095 or contact one of the other ABRI members listed.

Question: Where can I recycle other battery sizes?
Answer: Customers wishing to return other battery sizes (including coincell, Lantern batteries and Mobile Phone Batteries) should visit The Planet Ark Recycling Near You website RecyclingNearYou.com.au

Question: Can I bring back any brand of batteries even though I did not buy them from Green Frog Systems?
Answer: No. Our Battery Recycling Program is only available for batteries obtained with a Green Frog Systems branded product at this stage.

Question: Is there a limit to the number of batteries I can return at one time?
Answer: No. You are welcome to return as many batteries as you want provided they are from Green Frog Systems solar street light / solar energy storage products.

Question: What happens to the batteries after they get collected?
Answer: The batteries are collected by one of our specialist recycling partners, sorted and returned to recycling plants that extract reusable materials for re-cycling.

battery recycling sign
ARBI Members

 

ENVIROSTREAM AUSTRALIA
Tel: 03 9357 5346
www.envirostream.com.au
info@envirostream.com.au

INFOACTIV GROUP
Tel: 1800 489 278
info@ecoactiv.com.au
www.ecoactiv.com.au/batteries

MRI (AUST) PTY LTD
Tel: 03 9303 1814
will@mri.com.au
www.mri.com.au

SIMS RECYCLING SOLUTIONS
Tel: 02 8708 2015
mark.hughes@simsmm.com
https://www.simsrecycling.com

BATTERY WORLD
Tel: 13 17 60
www.batteryworld.com.au

CENTURY YUASA BATTERIES
Tel: 07 3361 6161
info@cyb.com.au
www.recyclemybattery.com.au

EXIDE BATTERIES
Tel: 1800 800 811
www.exidebatteries.com.au

MARSHALL BATTERIES
Tel: 1300 627 742
www.marshallbatteries.com.au

victims of crime local goverment installing solar lights

Combating Crime With Lighting in NT

By | Blog, Latest News

Victims of Crime NT Initiative Combating Crime with Lighting

Victims of Crime NT (VoCNT) provides funding for a variety of communities throughout the Northern Territory to support projects that help in the reduction and prevention of crime, contributing to making people in the community feel safer through the implementation of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles.

An example of this is the Utju-Areyonga Community, in 2017 work was carried out to assist residents to improve their safety. Areyonga (pronounced arr-ee-yon-ga), known locally as Utju, is nestled in a spectacular valley in the western end of the MacDonnell Ranges, about 100km from Hermannsburg and 240km west of Alice Springs. Access is gained by road via Alice Springs, the road consists of both sealed (130km) and unsealed (90km) sections. In dry conditions the trip will take approximately 2.5 hours from Alice Springs, while during the wet season a four-wheel drive is necessary, with heavy rain forcing closure of the road, cutting off the community. Driving between dusk and dawn brings its own challenges as there are large populations of feral horses, donkeys, dogs and the occasional camel, as well as native kangaroos and dingoes all of which can be a significant road hazard.

The Areyonga community was established during the 1920s by the Pitjantatjara people. The Areyonga Council is responsible for the day to day management of the community and provide the essential services and infrastructure required. Despite being a relatively small population, it is a proud and vital community with its own store, community hall and a weekly air service. Utju is a dry township and no alcohol may be brought into the community. Despite this, alcohol related violence, domestic and family violence incidents occur, with break- ins and assaults not uncommon.

victims of crime local goverment installing solar lights
victims of crime local goverment installing solar lights

With consultation with the community and council, key areas were identified that were unsafe due to poor or non-existent lighting. It was determined that the installation of solar lighting would be advantageous generating less of a power drain on the limited available power supply. We contacted Green Frog Systems and consulted with their specialists to determine what type of lighting would be best suited for the project. A combination of sensor triggered solar security lights and street lights was decided upon. Two solar street lights were to be installed at the entrance to the community and at the opposite end of the community where Sorry Camp is held. Another three 12W motion activated solar security lights would be installed between the rear yards of several houses where no current lighting exited.

The Areyonga Council has a deliberate policy to limit outside contractors wherever possible with most of the service delivery performed by the locally recruited workforce, providing employment and learning/training opportunities for locals. With the support of the MacDonnell Regional Council installation of the lights began. As a result of this project, the Utju-Areyonga Community has seen a reduction in crime, with an increase in confidence of personal and community safety.

victims of crime local goverment installing solar lights
victims of crime local goverment installing solar lights

Victims of Crime NT strive to serve the needs of Territorians affected by crime, offering support, providing information and crisis counseling, along with referrals to other support services for any crime victim, past or present.  They receive funding from the Northern Territory Government and rely on donations from the public and philanthropists. VoCNT provide a 24 hour a day Free-call number 1800 672 242, offering support services for Victims of Crime in the Northern Territory. With offices in Darwin and Alice Springs, VoCNT is able to service the needs of Territorians from townships to remote communities.

“The success of this project shows what is possible when, support services like VoCNT, local government and businesses such as Green Frog Systems work together. It is partnerships like this now and into the future that can drive creating safer communities for all.” –  Jeffery Stanton, CEO Victims of Crime NT

Content kindly provided by Victims of Crime NT – https://www.victimsofcrime.org.au/

A Word From Our CEO David Wilson

By | Blog, Latest News

“It’s been an interesting couple of months for Green Frog Systems. We started March with a refresh of the Green Frog Systems brand and a new look website, doubled our work force, welcomed our new Marketing Communications Manager and implemented a Technical Services Specialist Service Centre to deepen our customer services support team. It highlights our commitment to deliver excellence not just in product but in customer service and our brand promise. In April we were delighted to announce that Green Frog Systems was awarded a significant federal grant under the Accelerating Commercialisation element of the Federal Entrepreneurs’ Programme, a further endorsement for Green Frog Systems.

Our innovation, research and development steps up a notch with new disruptive technologies already in the works to drive future Australian Smart Cities, plus we are in the final stages of new product technologies being developed in line with our innovation objectives for this year. The company is pushing ahead with expansion plans with upcoming launches in USA and New Zealand where we will have a footprint and boots on the ground for the first time. As we propel Green Frog Systems on to an increasingly global stage, our products are becoming more sought after, so we will continue to eye new territories and seek out professional partners. On the 7th anniversary of Green Frog Systems company incorporation, and on behalf of everyone – welcome to our very first company newsletter, where we will endeavor to bring you, our esteemed clients and partners an update on all things Green Frog Systems, to share our news, our highlights and our innovation and everything in between.”

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