When a new, state-of-the-art Covid-19 laboratory opened in Wales, lighting was required for safety and convenience in the purpose built, remotely sited, refuse and bin store structure.

In Wales, in October 2020, the first Covid laboratory in the country opened. This new Lighthouse facility processes up to 20,000 tests a day, usually within 12 hours, and results returned within just 24 hours. The site is located at Imperial Park in Newport and was originally being constructed to be used as a pathology lab for Public Health Wales (PHW).

Solar Illuminations was approached by the architects and general contractor to design, manufacture, supply and install a solar powered LED lighting system for the waste structure located at the southern end of the site. This is a separate, steel and timber clad building that stores the waste and refuse bins, awaiting collection and disposal. The roof of the structure just so happened to have a reasonable pitch, face almost due south, and in a completely exposed position making it ideal for the 200W solar panel that was installed on it. The structure was divided internally with two identical areas, so a pair of 20W LED weatherproof batten type fittings were installed centrally, on the ceilings. The client required that the lighting be operative throughout the hours of darkness and controlled via a pair of PIR detectors located near each of the entrance gates. This would mean that any personnel approaching the structure at night, would automatically have a lit environment to work within, and turn off a few minutes after leaving the area. A metal, lockable battery enclosure was installed towards the rear of the structure which houses the batteries and MPPT charge controller, securely within.

In March 2021, the installation was completed on time, in less than a day, commissioned and left fully operational to the client's satisfaction. The end result being that the lighting provides the added safety and convenience that the staff needed to go about their job in and around this structure. This lighting system is totally self-contained and maintenance free for many years. It's yet another appropriate example of using clean, green, renewable energy to power LED lighting in locations where conventional mains power would prove to be too difficult or too costly to install.