Keeping the lights on

The Generac Tower Light range saves money and increases productivity, efficiency and efficacy on South Africa’s most demanding mining and construction sites.

Tower lighting has been around for many years but, as with all things, technology has spurred improvements and innovations to the products over the years making them more efficient, powerful and reliable than even before. Case and point is the Generac Tower Light range of products which are distributed by Pilot Crushtec right here in South Africa.

To gain further insight into these Italian designed and manufactured products we sat with Mervyn Moodley, Generac product specialist at Pilot Crushtec. For those not in the know, Moodley boils the fundamentals of the tower light down. “Essentially, the basic components’ of the tower light are the generator, a 5kva or 8kva unit, an 8 meter mast, and, providing the light are 4, 320 watt LED’s. This produces an illumination area of 4200m2 measuring in the region of 25lux at 100m.”

The use of LED’s came about in 2016 when they replaced metal-halide globes which delivered a raft of advantages for customers. “If we look at the old metal-halide globes, they used significantly more fuel to run. Some of the tests we have done have shown that the LED’s use 0.5liters of fuel per hour as opposed to the 1.7 litres used by the old lights. Looking at a standard 120 litre tank we can get 240 hours of use before refuelling.”

The LED’s are, among others, far more robust then the predecessors. “People have come to appreciate the rugged and robust LED option. With the old metal-halide globes, regular movement was difficult as the globes had a tendency to blow if moved a lot. Additionally, the globes required a cool off period prior to switching on again to avoid failure. With the LED’s all these issues have been resolved and the unit can be moved regularly and also be switched on and off at will without fear of losing the globe.”

One of the more apparent savings when using LED’s is the cost of replacing the globes. “When we look at replacing the metal-halide globes, each one costs in the region of R 1700 and needs to be replaced almost once a month. This translates into a just over R 20 000 per annum. The LED units are priced at around R 17 000 per module but can run for 35 000 hours. If we extrapolate this into a 40 hour work week, 52 weeks a year, the light can run for 4 years making the annual cost in the region of R 4250. Now that is significant.”

Getting down to the nuts and bolts of use, Moodley notes that all the units offer ready to run, versatile lighting towers with instant set-up time. “This ensures customers can generate income immediately. Additionally, these machines are tow-behind which makes transport to and from site a simple process, and moving it around the site is almost effortless. As is the nature of the industries we serve, there is, more often than not, no electricity ‘on-tap’. This is not a problem as the tower lights work independently of the electricity grid and require no external power supply. A lighting tower can typically be set up and operating at full capacity within minutes from arrival on site. This adds to the already inherent cost-effective nature of the unit as installation costs are

minimised, productivity is increased and reconfiguration is simplified when dealing with changing lighting requirements. Additionally, we have a full support network in place with an after-sales team and service department who will make sure the machine continues performing at its peak. Should you wish to have a demonstration Pilot Crushtec will come out to site and help you choose the right product for your needs.”

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