Did you know Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) has had solar shelters in operation since 2012? However, the first versions, piloted in two locations were expensive to purchase and had trouble keeping up with Edmonton's notorious weather resulting in fairly high operating costs. At the time, the bus shelter manufacturer didn’t offer pre-built solar units, offering instead a retrofit kit that was difficult to maintain and required quite a bit of customization during installation. For this reason, the program lost speed and not much progress was made for a number of years.
Since then, things have changed drastically. Our current bus shelter manufacturer has spent years developing a custom solution that will handle Edmonton's harsh winters. With solar energy technology continuously improving, the panels are now smaller and more powerful, controllers are smarter, bulbs are more efficient and batteries no longer have the drawbacks that they used to. This all results in a system that is much better equipped to work in our unique climate with minimal maintenance costs and downtime. Even today, our manufacturer continues to make design improvements as solar and battery technology advances.