Medford, OR Keeps Traffic Moving With Backup Battery Systems

The City of Medford, OR is working with Western Systems to provide 26 Alpha battery backup systems at key intersections throughout the city to help keep traffic moving during power outages.

“Power outages caused by extreme weather and wildfires are a growing concern for cities throughout the West Coast,”stated Zach Hoiting, senior vice president of Western Systems. “Without a reliable backup solution, traffic interruptions and accidents are inevitable.”

The new battery backup systems will be installed in a mix of standalone SE48-1616 cabinets and piggyback enclosures, which are attached to the existing traffic signal cabinet. Each system will include an Alpha FXM HP 1100 inverter. The power inverter provides a full-color LED display, advanced processing horsepower, high security and easy configurability to maintain traffic flow and intersection safety.  

“We put the Alpha battery system through a gauntlet of tests and it performed very well,” said Karl MacNair, City of Medford transportation manager. “It was important for us to have a system that can withstand challenging situations. We put an eight-amp load on the system and it ran for just over four hours which was impressive. The system ran for nearly 12 hours when we tested a normal three-amp intersection load.”

A significant  feature of the Alpha system for the City of Medford is the ability to customize load-shedding configurations. A typical uninterruptible power supply (UPS) configuration runs the entire load at an intersection until utility power is restored or the batteries die. The Alpha system, however,  allows program load shedding by selecting which devices and services get turned off at different points of an outage or at different times of day.

 Installation of the new systems is scheduled for the spring of 2023.