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S4GA Solar Obstruction Lights To Increase Airsafety at Gold Mine Airstrip in Northwest Canada

Solar Obstruction Lights have been delivered and installed at a gold mine airstrip in Yukon, the northwest of Canada. Supplied with arctic pack power banks and, rapid charging solar panels, S4GA aviation lights operate onsite 365 days a year using only solar energy even in the PV-poor northern part of the continent.

Increasing Air Safety At Gold Mine Airstrip in Yukon, Canada

S4GA runway lighting, Canada

Image source: cbc.ca

A private gravel airstrip located at Coffee Creek, Yukon is used by a gold mine company having exploitation facilities in the same region.

There is a road crossing the runway and no caution lights are installed on the crossing. It makes a high risk of a crash accident if an aeroplane and a truck are both moving on the runway. To increase air safety, the airfield operator decided to install aircraft warning lights on the crossing to warn trucks about the runway ahead.

Thus, the airfield operator contacted ANS, one of the leading Canadian AGL solutions provider. S4GA solar-powered obstruction lighting has been offered as the best suitable solution for this application.







Poor PV-potential of Canadian North – A Challenge for Solar-Powered Lights?

Yukon airstrip is located in a remote region with NO power supply. But this is not the main problem. The two main challenges were the following:

  1. Extremely short days and low solar potential in the Yukon region. For any solar-powered lights, it means a very short daytime period when solar panels can charge the batteries.
  2. Low temperatures in the winter season have a negative impact on lead-acid batteries – a standard type of battery used in most the battery-powered lights available for sale.

These two factors overcomplicated the task of the airstrip operator in searching for an optimal obstruction lighting for the airstrip.

Solar resource map Coffee Creek Yukon Canada

Image source: solargis.com


How Does S4GA Solar Lighting Withstand Low Temperatures And Limited Solar Potential?

S4GA solar obstruction lights (model SP-401) have been offered as the best solution for the Yukon project. Both problems have been solved with S4GA lights:

  1. Solar potential for airfield lightingRapid charging technology which is used in S4GA solar lights allows fast charging of the batteries to 100% battery level within a few hours.
  2. Large power bank in SP-401 lights storages energy accumulated during the daytime, and provides light autonomy for 15 days without any recharging. In Yukon case, this capacity is more than enough to keep S4GA obstruction lighting operational 365 days a year.
  3. For Yukon, SP-401 lights were equipped with special ‘arctic pack’ batteries that can withstand temperatures of -40 to 80 ºC (-40 to 176 °F).

Additionally, S4GA solar obstruction lights offered for Yukon, are controlled remotely from the land (ATC or maintenance room) and from the air (VHF radio). This is a useful feature for all remote airstrips and aerodromes: no need in hiring ATC Controllers whose responsibility is to activate/deactivate runway lights manually every time when the airplane is landing or taking off. It can be done by a pilot.

S4GA solar obstruction lights supplied to Canada perfectly met the Customer’s requirements and have been chosen by airstrip operators as the best solution among few other solutions offered by AGL suppliers. S4GA solar obstruction lighting increases the safety of flight operations at Yukon airstrip and protects local people from accidents which might happen on the runway and crossing road.

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Watch video: Coffee Creek Gold Mining Project

Yukon video



Yukon, Canada


Solar Obstruction Lighting