The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) is investing in solar-powered navigation lights.


To ensure power continuity, the SMA has installed Saft nickel battery systems in critical solar-powered navigation lights at the Trubaduren lighthouse. The lighthouse is the main navigation entrance to the Port of Gothenburg, so battery performance is essential to protect shipping.

Anton Dahl, the SMA’s navigation engineer, said: “We have strict requirements for battery performance, reliability and also sustainability. Saft provides sustainable recycling of nickel batteries when they reach the end of their life through a network of more than 30 bring-back points and its own recycling centre for nickel batteries in Oskarshamn, Sweden.”

Reliable operation

SMA ordered the Saft battery system under a framework agreement for nickel batteries. The batteries offers durability in extreme conditions, long life and low maintenance requirements, as well as small size and low weight for low lifecycle costs and reliable operation at some of SMA’s 1,100 remote lighthouses that technicians visit once per year.

Sjöfartsverket decided to modernise Trubaduren’s navigation light systems after a subsea power cable broke. It decided to install power supplies based on solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and batteries for higher availability and a lower cost than laying a new subsea cable.

Trubaduren lighthouse has two navigation lighting systems, each of which has its own LED lantern, colored filters, control equipment and power supply systems. The batteries are sized to store 760 Amp-hours (Ah) of energy. This is enough for up to 60 days of autonomy.

The batteries operate reliably in temperatures from -40°C to +55°C and are built from rugged materials to withstand the corrosive maritime environment.

By Rebecca Jeffrey