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Types of Solar Street Lighting Systems

A solar streetlight is an outdoor fixture that uses the sun's radiant energy to power its light engine. Solar street lighting can be used to improve pedestrian safety, driving visibility, and traffic safety.

Grid-independent operation also eliminates the need to dig, install underground wiring and connect to the utility grid. This makes solar street lights the best choice for installation in remote areas and harsh environments. There are no carbon emissions, low energy bills, and ongoing costs. These compelling benefits of solar street lighting are attractive even in urban areas. They can be used for illumination of secondary roads, residential streets and driveways as well as parking lots, pathways, parking lots, and other building perimeters.

Components

A typical solar street lighting system includes a solar panel and a solar charge controller. It also has a battery bank.

Solar Panel

A solar street light is composed of the solar panel. The solar panel's main function is to convert sunlight into electricity. The solar panel's size determines the efficiency of the conversion.

A solar panel is made up of many individual solar cells. Mono-crystalline and polycrystalline are the two main types of solar cells that we will be focusing on. Mono-crystalline solar cells convert at a higher rate than poly-crystalline. This is a better choice for streetlight performance.

Solar Charge Controller

The heart of the solar system is the solar controller. The solar controller controls the timing of charging and lighting. Smart controllers are used to control lighting, dimming, and battery charging. Smart controllers prevent solar batteries from overcharging or undercharging. The smart controller continuously charges the battery by receiving energy from the solar panels. The controller stores the power needed to operate the street lights at night. Smart controllers are able to support multiple loads or a single load.

Smart solar controllers are capable of generating excellent energy, optimizing performance and monitoring each streetlight unit using cloud-based software. Smart controllers have a built-in communication network, dedicated software to control and maintain the entire streetlight network.

You can divide them into three types: simple ON/OFF control (PWM), pulse width modulation(PWM) and maximum power point tracking(MPPT). The ON/OFF control protects the battery from overcharge and undercharging, and prevents reverse current. PWM regulates the current that is being charged to the battery and allows for trickle charging. MPPT is an advanced method that is used for solar street lighting systems to charge high efficiency batteries.

Solar Rechargeable Battery

A type of electric battery, the solar battery is one. The main purpose of the solar battery is to store the electricity generated by the solar panel during day and provide energy for the LED lamps at night. It is important to know the capacity and life expectancy of your battery. They provide power backup for days without sunlight, or when there is no sun. Smart solar street lighting systems with temperature sensors can monitor the battery's performance and optimize it (battery temperature, depth of discharge voltage), to extend its life span.

These are the two most common battery technologies for solar street lamps: lithium-ion and lead-acid.

The cycle life of lead-acid batteries is 1500 to 2500 cycles. They also have a lifetime of 3 to 5 years. There are two options for depth of discharge (DOD), or round trip efficiency (RTE) that can be used. Energy density is around 30 Wh/kg up to 50 Wh/kg, depending on the lead density. It takes lead-acid batteries between 12-16 hours to reach full capacity. This is a disadvantage due to the fact that solar radiation can last for many hours per day and the slow charging rate allows for efficient charging.

Lithium-ion batteries are the most energy dense and longest-lasting of all the battery chemistries. A lithium-ion lithium-ion cell is a lithium–ion transfer battery in which lithium ions (the working ionic part of electrochemical reactions) shuttle between the anode & the cathde via the electrolyte.

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