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Innovation in Smart Solar Street Lighting

Solar Street Lighting is receiving significant support from both governmental and private sectors, and is becoming a strong factor in Smart City concept and the reduction of energy consumption from traditional resources on a global level.

smart solar street light pole

Looking to the potential of growing economies, especially Africa, that are still developing their basic infrastructure, their demand is to completely depend on solar lighting, and would even avoid being connected to the grid when it comes to lighting. Compared to developed world countries that depend on their street lighting network coming from the grid, the situation is completely different for the rest. As they have no source of electricity, it sets a perfect base to completely depend on solar energy. Their idea is to have 100% clean energy powered lighting system and have the conditions (climate) and support (UN, World Bank, etc…) to accomplish this.

Competition in Solar Street lights is strong, and is primarily coming from China. These solutions are all more or less the same, no particular differences in products except the brand and common problem with low quality of their components.

From the beginning Solar lights have the same design and function, with no particular additions. EnGoPlanet’s patented solution EnGo Tower, brings a completely new set of advantages making the standard solution look outdated. There are several arguments why EnGo Tower solar street light solution is a unique product on the market, and they are the following:

1. Standard Solar Street light require expensive and time consuming underground work. Here the battery and electronic box are stored underground and then isolated with cement. This way, maintenance is quite difficult, and is inevitable after approximately 5 years when the batteries have to be replaced. EnGo Tower stores both the battery and related electronics inside the unit. This way with simple ladders you can open the bottom and do standard maintenance. Because of its position, it is quite difficult to reach it so stealing or vandalism is unlikely.

2. 360 degrees charge. The battery is charged by 6x50 or 6x40 Wp solar panels (depending on the model) that are on each side. This way the moment the sun rises, no matter on which side the light comes from charging starts and it will charge with equal intensity. Standard solar panels have 3-4 hours of full charge but for the rest of the time do not really perform.

3. Wind resistance. EnGo Tower has a shape of a hexagon and is covering the pole on each side while being located on its mid-section. This aero dynamic design lowers the wind effect on the pole, which makes this smart solar street light ideal option for retrofits. Standard solar street lights have panels on top with a specific angle, meaning that if the conditions are harsh, its stability is questionable. Rain, snow, and even hailstorm can be problematic for the panels as they are too exposed.

4. RETROFIT. EnGo Tower is currently the only solar street light solution that can be attached on the existing poles that are connected to the grid. This way it reduces energy consumption significantly, even up to 80% per pole. For instance, in times of blackouts it provides back up energy, so the street lights will still be on no matter the circumstances. It can either store extra energy in the battery or send it back to the grid to power other appliances.

smart solar street light retrofit pole

Solar Street Lighting Market size was valued at USD 4.25 billion in 2017 and annual installation is anticipated to exceed 9 million units by 2024, reaching around USD 18 billion. As I mentioned all the competitive advantages of EnGo Tower, the key point is that it created a market for itself with RETROFIT installations. There is an important aspect to this which is that changing the poles completely and replacing them with new, can cost two times more, and governments would rather not engage in these kind of projects which are generally expensive. This solution is appealing to them as it is considered more as an additional feature to the existing infrastructure in order to improve its energy efficiency/resilience.

smart solar street light pole

Now that the term Smart is mentioned, there is an additional feature which goes with EnGoPlanet solar street light solution, and that is a remote management system that tracks the energy usage, power output, lighting/dimming control, maintenance needs etc. Through this software, governments and companies can follow the energy usage, and energy savings on daily basis. This has no limit in terms of quantity as the principle is the same, it just depends how many units will be connected within the same network. So from 100 to 10 000 it is all under the same management system.

EnGo Planet offer Large and Small version of the EnGo Tower solar street light kit. Bigger public projects for roads, highways require taller poles and stronger LED lights, suitable for the larger tower with bigger solar panels and more battery storage. Small version is a great fit for communities, parks, campuses etc, and requires smaller poles with weaker lighting. In that way with these two models both channels are covered, and it is possible to make adjustments according to the client/project needs.

EnGo Tower is a perfect fit for Smart Cities that are focused on energy resilient solutions that are both practical and innovative in terms of functionality, maintenance, design and include a software for data collection. Therefore, it is a great solar addition to high tech environments.

When it comes to innovation in the field of solar street lights, EnGo Tower can be considered as one of the front runners on the market.

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