F1 lights way for solar beacon
THE lighting system intended to turn night into day in Formula One could eventually become a solar beacon. The micro reflectors developed by Hella Australia for its Formula One system have now been identified as a potential breakthrough on the solar front, for their ability to focus light in a solar array.
The solar breakthrough follows a successful FIA evaluation of the ARTIS system and Hella’s first tender for a full grand prix circuit.
‘‘What we have learned in the past few months is the applications for the technology are wider than we originally thought,’’ Urbain du Plessis, special projects business manager at Hella Australia, says.
‘‘The main thing we’ve done is to crack this very difficult reflector problem. Formula One is the pinnacle, and very glamorous, but the opportunities could be endless.’’
While Hella is pushing for a Formula One installation — perhaps Abu Dhabi or the Monaco tunnel — it has opened many other areas and developed a pop-up system that could eliminate the ugly light towers at many sports stadiums.
‘‘We can apply the ARTIS system to horse racing, aquatic centres or cycling velodromes. You can take it into a stadium and, instead of giant towers, you can have something that’s invisible when it’s not in use,’’ du Plessis says.
‘‘We are not only focusing on motorsport. We are looking at other industries.’’
Light years ahead: Hella’s Formula One lighting system could extend beyond motorsport.