F1 lights way for so­lar bea­con

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Paul Gover -

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.

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