NJ NDC field testing of solar powered location sensors for the Yard Management System


The Jersey City-based New Jersey International & Network Distribution Center (NJ NDC), the largest United States Postal Service mail facility, was dealing with the dilemma of providing reliable power for the trailer-truck-location-sensors-system, referred to as the Yard Management System (YMS). This system is critical to daily operations as it allows personnel to track parcel movements throughout the expansive facility. In 2006 the NJ NDC explored the possibility of furnishing temporary power to sixteen (16) location sensors (LS) that were located in the truck yard, which were determined to be cost-prohibitive and time consuming. In order to minimize downtime, short-term temporary power from various parking-lot-lighting towers was utilized. This option ultimately generated more issues for the facility with damaged circuits and lost service. Subsequently, USPS assessed a solar power option, and on June 10, 2011, switched two (2) LS to solar power and turned off the local utility source. By implementing this cost-effective and safety enhancing solution, the USPS is expected to slash its maintenance and operating costs associated with the yard management system, and increase overall operational reliability and reduce risk for employees in replacing the temporary solution.

Published in: Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2012 38th IEEE