LED Billboard Sports Solar Panel

Is Bulgaria on a cleantech roll or what? Just a few weeks ago we heard about work proceeding on two solar power plants totaling 45 megawatts, a hefty amount for a country of fewer than 8 million people. And now the southeastern European nation is the source of what is purported to be the first LED screen with an integrated solar panel.

A Sofia-based company called Megatex announced the development, an extension of its line of products such as LED walls, LED screens, sport information systems, digital clocks and thermometers, digital transport systems and dynamic message displays. So we’re talking about a large display here – a 5 kilowatt solar panel integrated into an LED display that could be used for open-air applications and can be installed on stadiums or used as a billboard. An d,as the company noted, “what makes it different is the fact that the screen can be installed even in areas with no access to electricity, such as highways.”

Solar-powered LED screen, Megatex, Bulgaria

image via Megatex

Beyond that, details about the system were scant, but the company said its products are available in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, so perhaps we’ll hear more. We certainly can see uses for this indoors as well as out if the solar panel is efficient enough. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, for example, many companies had huge walls of LED displays showcasing videos of new products. Having these displays be solar powered would be a great way to cut down on this tradeshow’s massive carbon footprint.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.