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Off-grid digital out-of-home public information LCD screen technology with solar-assisted backlight

Project description

Innovative off-grid outdoor signage totems

Outdoor digital signage totems are spreading worldwide. However, the fact that they are dominated by LCD technology limits their rapid growth. Existing outdoor totems cannot operate in direct sunlight as they face the risk of liquid crystals of the LCD melting. Moreover, they are power consuming and have expensive grid connections and installation costs. The EU-funded SolarDOOH project proposes the world’s first off-grid digital signage totem that uses a photovoltaic system combined with a battery system. It is based on an innovative solar backlight technology using sunlight as a complementary light. The new technology reduces power consumption by half and will drive down total ownership, operating and maintenance, and installation and installation time costs. The innovative digital signage totems will be installed in smart bus shelters.


Although the global outdoor digital signage totems market (dominated by LCD technology which offers better resolution in close proximity) is growing, there are restraints posing a threat to its continued growth:
Technological limitations: Current outdoor totems cannot operate in direct sunlight due to the risk of liquid crystals of LCD melting resulting in black botches on the screen (solar clearing), thus limiting areas where totems can be installed. Also, sunlight causes LCD screens to consume a lot of power as they have to compete with the sun’s rays for the image to be visible to the human eye.
High grid connection and installation costs, which can be as high as 2x the totem cost thus increasing total cost of ownership
To address this, the SolarDOOH – Imecon (IT), S’Tile (FR), LGOptics (LV) and Agenzia del Trasporto Pubblico Locale del bacino della Città Metropolitana di Milano, Monza e Brianza, Lodi e Pavia (IT) – will commericalize the world’s first off-grid digital signage totem that is unlimited by electricity accessibility and dramatically reduces TOC (22%), O&M costs (33%), installation costs (66%) and installation time (1 day). For power, the totem will use a photovoltaic (PV) system coupled with a battery system and will incorporate an innovative solar backlight technology that uses sunlight as a complementary, rather than competing light, enabling >50% reduction in power consumption. This technology will be integrated in smart bus shelters and provide information stream to its users. Being off-grid enables creation of mobile totems for use during mass gatherings such as concerts, marathons, demonstrations or unexpected events in cities like emergency roadblocks.
Through this project, the consortium seeks to optimise the solar backlight system, integrate and test the totem at bus shelters. Through commercialisation of this solution, the consortium aims to earn 4-year cumulative turnover of ~112.94M€, profits of €28.24 million, and an ROI of 13.9.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 332 982,00
20145 Milano Mi

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 1 904 260,00

Participants (4)