What do you think of when you consider solar panel lights? The technology for solar panel lighting has come a long way in the past few generations, making it almost unrecognisable to what many of us consider to be solar panel lighting. Although the solar panels themselves can still resemble conventional photovoltaic panels, what has greatly improved is the efficacy of the units – that being how well they can convert solar energy into electricity.
Photovoltaic units produced in the 1960’s were around 14% efficient at producing electricity – increasing in efficiency with new developments in technology, in 2016 there were units available producing 29.8% efficiency and in 2017 a prototype was developed capable of 44.5% efficiency! As you can imagine,
with increases in efficiency comes a reduction in price.
Solar Pole Lights
Now that photovoltaic’s can produce electricity more reliably, it has opened the possibility of improvements in solar pole light technology.
We are all used to seeing small solar lights in the garden which can collect enough solar energy during the day to power them for a few hours at night, but what about street lighting that has much higher power demands?
With improvements in solar photovoltaic technology and also battery storage, post top and pole mounted LED street lights can now run for days at a time on a full charge, without the need for power from the utility grid.
Integrated Solar Light
As opposed to simply retrofitting existing luminaires with cumbersome photovoltaic units, LIGMAN are developing solutions which integrate the solar units within their light fittings. This improves the overall performance of the luminaire – due to the purposeful application of integrated solar light technology – In addition to the aesthetic of the solar pole lights which have a much more refined quality about them.
Solar Light USA
The above mentioned solar panel capable of 44.5% efficiency was developed by scientists in the USA and with remote parts of the country not always having access to a utility grid, developers in the USA can see the immediate benefits of solar light integration. With their autonomy and lack of reliance
on a utility grid, they can be installed in remote and hard to reach locations.
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