Retrofit: Turning Street Light Poles from energy consumers to solar energy providers

In this blog post we will tell you more how EnGo Tower can retrofit traditional street light to become solar powered unit and energy provider.

Couple months ago EnGoPlanet was contacted by one of the biggest global oil companies in order to work with them on a project for improving the street light efficiency in one of their refineries that has more than 500 existing street light poles. At first, the idea was replacement of traditional streetlights with standard solar solutions, however we realized that there is a faster and more effective way to approach to this project. Therefore, we suggested our EnGo Tower solar system that can be used on both new and the existing poles. This proposal was accepted and we managed to complete a pilot project recently for testing.

smart solar street light retrofit pole

Generally, these refineries are using traditional and inefficient lighting system that has not been replaced for years. The refinery itself is using tremendous amount of energy to cover their production capabilities. Overall, the energy bills of such facilities are very high. Their idea is to lower the expanses by reducing the energy consumption of their lighting system, and not only that but also to use the produced energy for some other applications.

The main reason for high-energy consumption of street lighting are the lamps. On their facility, they have used 250W traditional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps that are extremely inefficient and having 500 + of these is definitely one of the reasons for such expensive energy bills.

Only by shifting to LED lamps they would probably save up to 50% of total cost. Other than that integrating the solar system, it is possible to turn streetlights from energy consumers to energy producers. This RETROFIT system allows installations on the existing poles, and requires no underground work nor pole replacement (unless in really bad condition).

The installation is done by a crane and two workers and goes as follows:

1. 5 holes are drilled on the pole: 2 on the height of 3.5 – 4m (depending on the pole height). In this case, it was 10 m, so 4 m is ideal. These two holes are directly opposite from each other, so that a thick metal bar can go through it. The same two holes are drilled two meters above (which is the size of the EnGo Tower solar system). Another hole is drilled next to the bottom hole.

solar street light drilling holes pole

2. Each half of the EnGo Tower is then attached on the metal bars and screwed so that they are fixed, and the white LED cable on one of the halves is passed through the side hole all the way down which is then connected with the on grid cable.

smart solar street light pole retrofit

3. Next, when the halves are attached as you can see on the picture, solar panels are connected and batteries are placed inside each half and connected on 12 V system (this depends on the LED lamp, but the system can be connected on both 12 V and 24 V). 4. Later on, the lamp is replaced with an LED one (40 W LED for this pilot project).

smart solar street light retrofit pole

5. Using an App for the controller that is inside the Tower, connected via Bluetooth, we can then check if the solution is working. More precisely if the solar panels are charging the battery and how much energy is produced.

This retrofit solar system will now power the LED street light from the battery, but will also send extra energy back to the grid, that can now power some other energy consumers at the refinery, or can be sold to utilities. This way we have managed to create a system where streetlights will provide energy rather than consume it. The new generation of LED light is a low energy consumer and lights even brighter than the older lamps used previously of 250 W. Therefore, depending on the battery capacity a significant amount of collected energy is left and is sent back to the grid.

smart solar street light retrofit pole

EnGo Tower solar street light system is currently one of a kind solution for the RETROFIT of existing streetlights, and is ideal for cities, production and industrial facilities, campuses, shopping malls, roads and all other public and private areas that want to become more sustainable and eco-friendly environments. The ROI is less than 7 years and considering the life span of factories and the amount of energy they consume it is a smart long-term investment to decrease their energy bills by producing clean energy and lowering their carbon emissions.

Just imagine how big the impact would be if we install EnGo Tower on majority of existing street light poles in your city.

For more information on how to retrofit street light poles in your city or organization and how to make them solar powered units, please visit

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