Vermont Tests First All Solar Hazard Beacon

Paying for the commercial power and upkeep of 38 hazard beacons across the state can get expensive and for the Aviation Program of the Vermont Agency of Transportation that translates into one-quarter of their budget! The solution to go solar seemed obvious to Guy Rouelle, Aviation Operations Specialist for the Agency. “I offered the idea,” said Rouelle, who designed the first all solar L-864 Hazard Beacon. “It’s the first of its kind in the National Airspace System and it’s being tested here in Vermont.”

The FAA will pay 95% with a 5% state match and according to Rouelle, an 8 year comparable savings per light will be around $70,000 per light. Rouelle, who has a degree in engineering, said renewable and self-sustaining energy are employed by using photovoltaic technology. Designed to operate during the worst solar conditions, Rouelle said the unit will operate for 21 days without any solar input on a full charge. “Each unit will cost around $6,000,” said Rouelle who is also a Master Certified flight instructor. Testing was expected to have been completed April 15th, 2009.

For more information you may contact Guy Rouelle at (802) 828-1083.