Orion Solar Pty Ltd supplied their SCL series area lights for installation at BHP Billiton’s Mt Whaleback mine in Western Australia.

One of the world’s premier suppliers of iron ore, BHP Billiton Iron Ore employs 13,000 people across Western Australia with mining operations supported by the town of Newman and Port Hedland housing the company’s port and rail facilities. The massive Mt Whaleback mine is the biggest single-pit open-cut iron ore mine in the world at more than five kilometres long and nearly 1.5 kilometres wide.

Mt Whaleback and Eastern Ridge, BHP’s other mine in the region, are supported by a fleet of 60 Caterpillar 793 trucks, each of them capable of carrying 220 tonnes of ore. To improve efficiency in their mine site operations, BHP is installing 24 boarding ramps where crew changes are made. Featuring a movable design, the boarding ramps cannot be connected to a power source. Solar lighting was therefore, chosen as the best solution for the situation.

Since a standard solar light would be unsuitable for the application as the ramps would not always be placed in the same orientation to the sun, Orion Solar supplied a modified version of their SCL area light, complete with a solar panel that can be adjusted in two directions for optimum orientation to the sun, and a luminaire angled to place the light exactly where required.

Orion’s SCL series is a range of fully-integrated solar LED area lights normally used in pedestrian and commercial applications. The built-in energy management system enables the SCL to provide consistent, reliable and easy to install lighting, which automatically configures to local solar conditions.

The Gold Coast based Orion Solar has been supplying solar powered LED lighting throughout Australia and New Zealand for over ten years.