LEDs cut European Space Agency’s power consumption by 60%

The European Space Agency will save around €15,000 ($16,600) a year just by replacing fluorescent and halogen lights at one of its facilities with LEDs.

ESA’s Cebreros tracking station in Spain has reduced its power consumption by 60% in the move that saw almost 800 lights replaced. The project will pay for itself in five years.

Cosmos magazine has long been a proponent of the benefits of LED lighting – see Growing up as LED lights come of age

Cebreros Station is part of ESA’s worldwide Estrack ground station network.

It entered service as the second deep-space terminal in 2005 (the other two are located at New Norcia, Australia, and Malargüe, Argentina). It provides routine support to deep-space missions such as Mars Express, Gaia and Rosetta, as well as missions flown by other agencies.
The antenna dish is 35 m in diameter and the entire structure is 40 m high and weighs about 620 tonnes. Engineers can point the antenna with a speed of 1 degree per second in both axes. Cebreros’ servo control system assures the highest possible pointing accuracy under the site’s environmental, wind and temperature conditions.


Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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