As Solar LED Street Light market continue to grow rapidly with more than 16% CAGR, more and more companies are starting to produce different Solar operated LED street light solutions. Some of those companies deliver very good and high quality products, but unfortunately many companies, primarily from China, started to introduce to market some very cheap and low quality products. Most of those products look nice and practically, such as most of ALL IN ONE solutions, but if you scratch beneath the surface and study their technical specification in more details, you will notice that those components are completely not sufficient for optimal working conditions and to provide expected life cycle of Solar LED Street Light which is minimum 20 years. Poor quality is probably the main reason why more and more clients around the world do not want to accept most of Chinese Solar LED Street Light products. In this blog we will try to explain why is critical to chose high quality components for Solar LED Street Light solution.
When it comes to Solar LED street lights, it is very important to take a closer look at how the system is designed and what components are integrated together to deliver light performance from clean energy sources.Choosing high quality parts, such as battery, LED light source, controller and other parts is the most important aspect. In addition, introduction of smart technology in the solar street lighting system is an essential step forward in ensuring off-grid system reliability and durability.
Every Smart LED Solar street light system consists of several core components. The functional off-grid system depends on the quality of each component, the technology used in the system and the management of the solar street light over time. Choosing the right smart solar street light specification is not an easy task, therefore you need to know all the system design nuances before discussing the technical proposal with a solar street light company.
SMART LED SOLAR STREET LIGHT COMPONENTS ARE:
Solar street lights are designed to absorb energy during the day. This energy is used by the off-grid system to power LED lighting during the night. The solar panels start working as soon as the sun is up while the LED lamp automatically switches off after the sunrise. The process is reversed when the sun goes down. The solar energy detection can be done either through solar panel sensing (this functionality works by detecting solar panel voltage which will increase immediately when sunlight hits the panel and vice versa) or through an astronomic clock built in the solar system (microchips using latitude and longitude clock combined with real time clock to decide when to flip a switch). The main function of the solar panels is to convert sunlight into electrical energy through photovoltaic solar cells. This energy is then stored in solar rechargeable batteries.
LED Light Source Smart solar street lights use new LED technology which delivers much higher Lumens for less energy used. EnGoPlanet Solar LED Street light producer is using 165lm/W which is currently the highest output in the market. LED lights with lower wattage than traditional style fixtures are more efficient and have lower power consumption while providing higher luminosity levels and zero UV emissions. LED fixtures are also less prone to failures with an average number of 75,000 working hours, whereas traditional street lights range from 5,000 to 8,000 working hours with much higher failure rate.The energy consumption rate of LED fixture is at least 70% lower than high pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures.
RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES The main function of solar battery is to store electricity from the solar panel during the day in order to provide energy for the LED lamp in the night. The capacity and lifetime of the battery is very important as they provide backup power for low energy periods - days without sun. A good smart solar street light system has a temperature probe that monitors the battery and optimizes its performance (battery temperature and depth of discharge voltage) to prolong battery life cycle. There are three types of batteries: lead acid battery, gel cell deep cycle battery and absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery (also called starved electrolyte). AGM and Gel technology are preferable for solar systems. Every solar street light proposal must specify:Type of solar battery Total amperage hours How much system autonomy can be achieved with the battery to ensure LED light performance. Most solar street light systems do not provide more than 3 nights of battery storage. With smart technology, such as real-time remote control and monitoring of discharge values, battery data coming from temperature probes and overall energy optimization, the off-grid system will ensure reliable performance all year long.
MPPT Solar Controller The solar controller is the heart of the solar system. This device decides when to switch on or off the lighting and charging. Smart controllers have built in functionalities to control lighting, dimming and battery charging. The smart controller prevents the solar battery from overcharging and undercharging. By receiving the energy from solar panels it continuously charges the battery during the day. During the night the controller supplies the stored power to run the LED street lights. Smart controllers can support single load or multiple loads.
Smart solar controllers provide excellent energy generation, performance optimization and monitoring of each street light unit via cloud based software. The smart controller has a built-in communication network and dedicated software for control and proactive maintenance of the entire street light network to achieve the highest LED light performance 24/7, 365 days per year.
There are many different protocols that would enable wireless communication and control of the solar street light, such as: wireless LAN, zigbee, sigfox or Lora. Smart controllers are designed to communicate data, either via SIM card in each smart solar controller (having small number of units involving up to 10 solar street lights) or via cellular gateway device (having large number of units involving more than 10 solar street lights), to enable data transfer from each system component to an online cloud software with a user interface. The smart solar controller, motion sensors, the cloud based software and the type of communication network constitute the smart technology aspect of solar street lights.
If you want to achieve maximum performance and longevity, consider going with smart solar controller with built-in communication which enables interactive control and monitoring of the system in real-time. If you would like to know more about all the benefits of smart solar controllers, check out this article: Solar Street Light:" How Smart They Can Be"
Capabilities and functions: To properly size your controller you need to know the following:
Solar Panel Wattage Battery voltage ( 12 V, 24 V or 48 V) Amperage: To choose a perfect amperage for your solar controller, consider using Ohms Law comes. You need to divide Solar Watts with battery bank voltage. For example, 200 Watts Solar Panel / 12 Volts Battery = 16 Amps. Therefore, you need to choose 20 amps controller (most controller are 5, 10 , 15 , 20 or more amps). Type of battery charger, secondary power, LED lamp drivers installed, other drivers and protection (against over or undercharging, short and open circuit)
Mounting and installation details
System connections (detailed layout of inputs and outputs)
Type of communication network & protocols
REMOTE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Cloud Software gives you the power to monitor, manage and proactively maintain solar street lights over the Internet. Weather forecasting algorithms and load management enables you to set up and change lighting profiles in real-time with dimming and motion detection to ensure LED lighting, regardless of weather conditions. The software monitors your off-grid street light system day and night and sends alerts when needed to identify issues and deal with problems in real-time. With continuous capture of data, the software can pinpoint the right action to take to keep the solar street lights operating at the most optimal efficiency levels.
Also, we believe that the future belongs to those companies who do care about the quality and performance. After investment in Solar operated LED Street Light project is not a small investment. Also these units are anticipated to have long life cycle and the main prerequisite of that is to have high quality components in Solar operated LED Street light.
For more information visit: www.engoplanet.com