It seems that technology is moving faster than most budgets can keep up with, and this is no more true than in the world of electronic sports scoreboards. In the concept of time, it wasn’t that long ago that old fashioned flip boards were changed out for light bulb scoreboards and then to the more efficient and cost effective LED scoreboards. The latest phase in the efforts of going green have been to make use of solar power for not only the field or stadium, but to power the score boards as well.
The reduction in cost of sports scoreboards, combined with the higher quality LED’s has made it a bit easier for high schools and colleges to compete with the big sports stadiums in bringing lights, action and pizzazz to their fans. As we are now in an immediate gratification society, demanding more and more high technology at our games, the newer sports scoreboards are now offering extensive WiFI, smart phone, streaming feeds, ribbon announcements, and a lot more sophisticated control rooms to take care of all of this technology. With these advantages, also come higher electrical demands and while the sponsorship for the venues that offer these electronic scoreboards is definitely experiencing an uptick in popularity, there is a need to offset the costs through renewable energy.
Solar powered electronic sports scoreboards are entering the field in a bit more of a slow manner. Enthusiasm is high, but most of the reason for delay has to do with individual zoning, utility companies and local ordinances. Solar power offers not just a savings in electrical use but also falls into a savings due to the lack of the requirement to dig extensive trenches to lay underground lines.
The high demand to go green has been a bit of a challenge for the solar power companies when it comes to sports scoreboard and stadium or field needs. Solar power collects the sun’s energy throughout the day and stores it in batteries. When needed, the batteries are accessed and the power is then used. The challenges for stadiums and fields is two-fold: what do you do when there isn’t enough sun to store the energy needed and the typical sports game may need more power than an average solar battery can hold. These problems are only temporary, as the new generations of lithium batteries are being produced to gather even the smallest amount of sunlight and to have higher maximum capacities.
Typically, when a school or stadium is looking to install solar power as part of their green effort, they are also including the operations of such areas as concession stands, exterior and interior lighting as well as all of the electrical needs of the LED scoreboard and the scoreboard control area. In the case of the stadiums, they are requesting solar power for office or administrative areas as well.
The advancement in technology combined with the demand for greener sports venues has catapulted an entire new science to address any problems that might occur in low sunlight states and high electrical demands. It looks like solar powered sports scoreboards is here to stay.