Solar Panelled Billboards

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Ricoh Solar Powered Billboard

Engadget, Yahoo and Digital Signage News all picked up on this but it got scant mention in Europe which is a shame AND it is interesting now that we have also seen a couple of carbon neutral and green lobby stories.

The photo is a computer generated image of Ricoh’s planned eco-powered billboard in Times Square, New York City.


Tokyo, July 2, 2008 – Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Shiro Kondo, President and CEO ) announced today that it will erect a sign in New York City that will be 100 percent eco-powered, the first such sign in New York. The electricity for the billboard will be produced entirely by solar and wind power and stored in batteries. No electricity will be purchased from local power companies.

Four wind turbines and 45 solar panels will produce an average of 98 kwh of electricity per day. To put the savings into perspective: the same amount of electricity required by an ordinary sign would result in as much as 18 tons of C02 per year. The batteries can hold four days worth of supply. However if there is insufficient wind or solar power, the sign may not light up; that is an eventuality Ricoh readily accepts.

The sign will light up for the first time in early December. This is our second eco-signage project, the first one dates back to April 2003 in Osaka, Japan.

Details of the signage:

  1. Location: in Times Square, New York City, at 3 Times Square at the corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street.
  2. Dimensions:– 14.3 x 38.4 m
  3. System specs:
    Wind power generator – 4 turbines (2 on each side)
    Solar panels – 45 panels above the signage
    Batteries – 16
  4. Average daily power generation: 98 kwh, comprising of 93 kwh from wind power and 5kwh from solar


One Response to “Solar Panelled Billboards”

  1. J Woolsey CEO Says:

    Very innovative, however keep in mind that a regualr LED 14′ x 48′-20mm power usage will only pull a max of 34 watts, 14 watts on average, I wonder what the comparable wattage breakdown is solor vs. what we sell.

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