Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Solar-Powered Bus Transit Shelters(ST7137-1)

Sunwize Technologies, Inc.


The market for solar-powered lighting systems is growing as improvements have been made in bulb, ballast, and reflector technology, creating new solar opportunities. Bus transit shelters include advertising integrated into one side of the shelter but most shelters are not electrified. Bus transit shelter lighting is now possible with photovoltaic (PV) technology as a result of recent technical innovations in PV and lighting subsystem designs.

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Project Description

The project’s goals were to develop, demonstrate and commercialize an innovative solar-powered bus transit shelter lighting system based on an improved lighting reflector and solar module design that can be used to retrofit conventional shelters, and to retrofit 150 shelters with the PV lighting systems. The project partners involved were SunWize (PV system integrator), Daytech (bus shelter manufacturer), and Culver Amherst (ad agency).


By using PV to illuminate bus shelters at nighttime it increases safety for transit riders without increasing electric demand. Illuminating bus shelters is also expected to increase bus ridership, as well as avoid automobile emissions.

Project Results

The Contractor worked with the project partners to deploy 84 PV-powered lighting systems in transit shelters in four municipalities in the New York counties of Suffolk and Nassau. The project completed: (1) the design verification of the flexible PV laminate transit shelter roof top and PV-powered lighting system; (2) installation of the PV-retrofitted shelters in the participating municipalities; and (3) a commercialization program for the marketing of this technology to other municipalities in New York and nationally. Although originally the project was to deploy 150 PV-lighted bus shelters, Culver Amherst was bought by another company (Signal Outdoor Advertising) and this company was not interested in purchasing additional shelters. The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) installed a prototype solar-powered bus shelter on one of its bus routes in Albany NY. The project did not result in the anticipated increase in market demand for the PV-powered bus shelters because most municipalities were found to prefer a more traditional, pitched roof-top, bus shelter, a form shape that is not as well suited for roof-top integrated PV. The Lighting Research Center completed a DELTA (Demonstration and Evaluation of Technologies and Applications) report documenting the performance of the PV-powered bus shelters. The DELTA report is published on the LRC's DELTA Web site and is available free of charge.


Sunwize Technologies, Inc.
1155 Flatbush Rd.
Kingston, NY 12401

Principle Investigator

David Panico

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply

NYSERDA Contact Information

Marsha Walton


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST7137-1

Last Updated: 4/17/2012