20th Anniversary of the first Ex Solar Power Pod

This week marks a special occasion and milestone for the JCE team; 20 years since the creation of the first Ex Solar Power Pod, which remains one of the most popular products in our range.

The concept originated back in 2000 when our founder and Chairman, Jim Craig, was sharing a coffee with a client in a café in Doha listening to the problems he faced on a number of unmanned offshore installations, located in the Persian Gulf.

The platforms were being continually used as roosts by a number of sea birds, with thousands flocking to each platform to rest and congregate, causing major issues with droppings resulting in serious corrosion and continual shutdowns with material failures.

The company were faced with sending personnel to the platforms both by boat and helicopter to carry out the cleaning process which was absorbing a continual amount of man hours.

To counteract these on-going problems and improve the safety of installation personnel, helicopter crew and the birds themselves, a scaring or deterrent device was created based on the technology used in airports and additional sensitive industries.

Accordingly, due to the remote location of the installations and no availability of power on-board, a solution was required which operated continually 24/7, 365 days a year, and was suitable for hazardous locations since a presence of flammable gas was highly likely.

Thereafter, Jim and his team went to work in certifying the first ever solar panel to meet this unique and challenging specification. Together, the Ex rated solar power pod, bird deterrent device and control system resulted in a successful package which safely diverted the birds to alternative roosting locations.

This proved a revolutionary concept for the offshore industry famous for its harsh and hazardous operating conditions.

The combination of innovation, technology and collaboration were the elements that made this project a global success, which remain at the foundation of JCE Group’s values and approach to engineering, even to this day.

We are immensely proud of this historic solution which started so small and had such a large impact, on our strategic direction over the past 20 years, resulting in the shift towards renewables and the timely introduction of the JCE Energy division.


Highlighted are a few original and informative images of the solution, which was replicated for hundreds of projects on offshore platforms and other remote locations for many different applications in addition to bird scaring, including navigation aids, alarm systems, gas detection, ESD controls, ship to shore communications and pipeline management.

To find out more about JCE Groups Ex rated solar power and hybrid solutions, please visit: https://www.jcegroup.com/products/renewable-energy...