Middle East Navigation Aids Service – Latern Buoy Regulator

MENAS owns and maintains an extensive network of navigation beacons, buoys and lighthouses across the Middle East Gulf and its approaches. MENAS has maintained all Aids to Navigation in the international waters of the Middle East Gulf, together with the approaches (Light Buoys) to the main GCC ports for over 60 years. In Bahrain, it has serviced Bahrain’s outer and inner channels including local AtoNs for the Ports & Maritime Affairs (PMA-MTT), for 40 years and services Al Jeer; Maritime City; Al Jazeera and Saqr Ports in the UAE.

Beco has been working with MENAS for 20 years and have provided many iterations of the Lantern Buoy Regulator and other charge controller solutions. The Lantern Buoy Regulator is required to regulate the power output from the solar modules to ensure effective charge of the onboard battery bank without the risk of overcharging.

The lantern Buoy Regulator has been operating at sea since its inception in the late 1990s. The design incorporates Beco’s own 12v regulators that have been in continuous production for over 25 years.

Design and Operation

The lantern Buoy Regulator can accommodate up to 4 PV modules depending on the design requirements. The regulator controls the charge to the battery but also provide the power to the lantern on the Buoy.

The design incorporates BR1 Solar Shunt Regulator(s), they are designed to limit the maximum voltage to which the battery can be driven when on a charge from the solar module(s). The unit features a single green, status indicating LED, which is illuminated when the battery voltage has reached the set-point and the module output is being shunted.

The whole unit is sealed with a potting agent to ensure no water ingress occurs in harsh marine environments. Bulgin IP68 connection is utilised as they offer a secure, robust and watertight connection in heavy-duty, industrial & harsh environment applications.