New Gold’s New Afton Mine is a gold and copper mine located near Kamloops, BC. As with all mining operations, the site is large, with many buildings and structures located throughout. When New Gold approached Prism to design a lighting system for an occasional-use warehouse located away from the electrical distribution system, it was an opportunity to think outside the box.
Prism proposed a lighting system with occupancy controls that interfaced with a solar photovoltaic power system – except there was a ‘twist’. A solar system produces direct current (DC) power, which is then fed through an inverter to convert it to the alternating current (AC) power required to operate traditional lighting systems. However since LED lighting can utilize a DC power configuration, the infrastructure was designed to use the solar PV DC power to directly power the lighting; no inverter, fewer components to the system and lower maintenance. This pairing of solar energy and LED lighting is one way facilities can achieve being off-grid and self-sustaining.