18 December 2023

A New Zealand first - PowerStack Solar Lighting a hit at a heritage site

Woodlands Estate, Gordonton in the Waikato, is a category 1 Historic Place with Heritage New Zealand and is owned by the Waikato District Council (WDC). The homestead is leased and managed by the Gordonton-Woodlands Trust, who run the day-to-day operations, functions, ceremonies and other commercial functions.

The WDC has a team dedicated to the care of the grounds and gardens which are open to the public all year around. As part of a project to ensure the estate’s picturesque entrance is safe and secure (for staff closing up after night functions) Asanka Meththa, Infrastructure Manager for WDC, recently unveiled a New Zealand first installation of CSP’s PowerStack solar lighting column – and has been suitably impressed.

“Due to safety and security reasons, we required the front entrance of the estate to have some form of lighting, with strict criteria set down for those tendering for the work,” says Asanka. “The gardens are also rated as a 5-star Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Garden Trust so it was important that any lighting system chosen met certain criteria.”

WDC requirements:

  • Lighting at the gate for safety and security purposes
  • Least amount of light pollution
  • Use an alternate power source to mains power
  • Aesthetically pleasing solution
  • Quick installation
  • Sleek and modular design compared to traditional solar panels

“CSP’s PowerStack solar lighting column ticked all the boxes,” says Asanka. “We decided to proceed with the installation as a pilot project to gauge how it would go and then monitor the actual performance of the column once it was installed.”

“Our PowerStack solar column is ideal for this situation,” says Mark Hall, Technical Business Development Manager for CSP.

“The 5m PowerStack column has an internal solar controller and batteries and is recharged from the external solar plates on the column. This means no unsightly solar panels or external battery box. To aid with minimising light pollution, passive infrared (PIR) sensors are used to activate the lights only when people are at the gate.”

Asanka says, “we also utilised a concrete-free installation system - Surefoot® foundation solutions from Wildboar - which is new and unconventional and consists of 1.5m-long piles driven into the ground. The result of this meant the whole installation took about an hour, as opposed to a couple of days if concrete had been used.”

Key features of PowerStack

… environmentally friendly: This remarkable solar panel powers three LED lights, providing sustainable, eco-friendly illumination.

.… motion-activated magic: Thanks to PIR sensors, these lights activate only when needed, minimising light pollution and ensuring efficient energy usage.

… lightning-fast installation: The entire project took just one hour to complete! It utilised a concrete-free foundation with 1.5m-long piles driven into the ground. The result? A cleaner, faster, and more sustainable approach.

… real-time energy monitoring: Stay connected with the PowerStack via a Bluetooth connection, providing real-time updates on energy consumption.

… a sleek modular design: The PowerStack boasts an elegant, futuristic and modular design that can adapt to a wide range of applications.

“This project and the use of PowerStack highlights our dedication to a brighter, greener future for Woodlands Estate,” says Asanka.

“Throughout the process Mark and CSP were very quick to help and answer any questions I had. We are definitely considering this system for other locations as we have been very happy with the performance and the outcome of this first installation. I am in the process of helping my team understand what PowerStack can do and how the system operates so it can be considered elsewhere. We are very pleased.”

“I would absolutely recommend PowerStack to others,” adds Asanka. “PowerStack is not just a lighting column and I would recommend that if anyone is considering this as an option for their project to take the time to learn and understand how this system works as there are so many functions this column has and can produce.”

A bit about Woodlands Estate, Gordonton…

The homestead was originally part of the 98,000-acre estate and was initially built as a manager's residence between 1875 and 1881. It is primarily made of Kauri and still features some original weatherboards and roof iron. It was purchased from The Crown by The Piako Swamp Company for 2/6 (25 cents) an acre.

Principal: Waikato District Council

Foundation installer: Surefoot® foundations by Wildboar

Location: Gordonton, Waikato

Product: PowerStack