Solar Street Lighting

Solar Street Lighting

Solar street lights are known for being efficient and effective light sources in different parts of the world, including crystalline silicon of thin-film solar panels to supply power, a maintenance-free controlled battery to store electricity, ultra-bright LED lamps as light sources. All these electrical components are controlled by charging and discharging solar controllers.

The working principle of solar street light is simple. They are stand-alone street lights without connection to the electricity grid and powered by solar panels. The solar panels receive solar irradiation and converting it into electricity, then store in the solar batteries, and then it powers the LED lamp at nighttime. Controllers play a central role between all the electrical devices in protecting storage batteries from being overcharged or over-discharged. There are three different types of solar street lights that fit the outdoor lighting applications in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. They are Split type, All-In-One, and Vertical Integrated Solar Lights Pole.

Parts of solar street lights:

  • Solar panels: The solar street light working principle cannot run without a solar panel. In other words, the solar panel is the fuel of the solar streetlights. Solar streetlights can consist of mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline solar panels or thin-film in vertical integrated solar lights poles small-scale projects.
  • LED Lighting Fixtures: LED is the best energy-efficient lighting technology among the others that fit solar streetlights applications because of the higher lifetime, luminous efficacy, and has an optimal Colour Rending Index are suitable for the streetlights applications. Moreover, the starting time is immediate, and the LED is excellent for dimming control.
  • Batteries: Rechargeable batteries are the core electrical device in off-grid solar systems, especially in solar streetlights applications. Every day the battery works continuously over the day, charging from the solar panel during the day and discharging within the night to power the LED lights.
    The battery capacity and lifetime are necessary parameters that ensure sufficient backup for the solar lights system. 
    Generally, the solar streetlight is widely known for two kinds of batteries: lead-acid batteries, gel cell deep cycle batteries, and Li-ion batteries, and choosing among them goes according to the technical specs of the project and the commercial budget.
  • Controllers: The solar controller is the brain of the solar streetlights system. This device handles when to switch On/Off the lighting and charge batteries. Controllers have functionalities to control lighting, dimming, and battery charging/discharging. The controller protects the solar battery from over-charging and over-discharging depends on the battery depth of discharge and state of charge. Mainly, there are two types of controller PWM and MPPT.
  • Cables: The cable for this system first connects the PV module, batteries, LED fixture with the controller. Accordingly, the controller monitors the status of the electrical devices. The cable’s size and lengths depend on the type of systems’ electrical current, voltage, and height of the pole. Furthermore, simple interconnections link the devices as plug-and-play.
  • Pole: The pole is the skeleton of the solar streetlights where all the system components mount. The mast has the arm where the LED fixture hangs, the mounting structure where the panels and batteries install besides the foundation’s kits to root the pole in the ground.
    These items are produced from steel with hot-dip galvanization treatment to withstand corrosion and overcome weather circumstance

Advantages of Solar Streetlights

Solar streetlights technologies approach the three aspects of sustainability environment, economic and social.

  • Eco-friendly: Solar streetlights are a green energy technology. The adoption of solar streetlights plays a role in reducing carbon emissions and overcoming climate change. 
  • Economic: Solar streetlights are cost-sufficient compared to conventional street lights. Solar streetlights require almost zero maintenance over five years because all the components have high durability. Another economic benefit, the installer doesn’t have to expand the electricity infrastructure to remote areas especially, the long-distance highways. 
  • Social: In developing countries have a shortage of electricity and economic systems. Solar streetlights are the best solution to illuminate the pedestrian areas and the refugee camps trying to access basic life needs. Solar streetlights illuminate the streets during the night irrespective of power cuts and grid electricity shortage.
  • Easy Installation: Solar street light is easy to install than other street lights. The installation needs one crane, one engineer, two technicians, and five works involved in the solar streetlights projects. The installer needs to dig down a one-meter-deep hole, build up a cement block, then bolt it.
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