Solar and Wind Powered Street Lights
Roadway lighting is something that affects us all. We need our public roads and highways to have ample lighting in order to avoid accidents and feel safe. However high infrastructure costs can impact which roads are lit or how much light they have. This may be less of a problem in the future. Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and Spanish environmental company Eolgreen have teamed up to create a hybrid solar and wind powered battery light.
If you haven’t been following us, developing technologies is a subject that is near and dear to ATS considering that we test for and remove outdated storage tanks and even developed our own tank testing equipment. Scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are constantly creating new technologies that make our daily lives easier, streamline difficult processes, improve the environment, and generally bring us closer as a global community. Every Thursday, ATS brings you a new “tech” that we think is worth learning about!
The solar and wind powered light actually has four heads. There is a solar panel, small wind turbine, battery pack to store the energy, and the light itself. The wind turbine can start the generator at wind speeds as low as 1.7 meters per second and has a maximum output of 400 Watts. There is also an electronic control system that manages the flow of energy between the solar panel and the wind turbine to the battery and the light.
Currently the team has only put together a prototype of the light. However, their goal was to have it available for inter-urban roads, along with urban parks, and larger freeways. It seems the 10 meter tall prototype will soon be headed for production as several Spanish municipalities have requested the streetlight and the company predicts that they will make seven hundred in the next year. This new technology is promising from an energy efficiency as well as cost efficiency point of view. The streetlights increased efficiency is supposed to lower public lighting costs by up to twenty percent.
We’re curious to see how this technology expands and whether there will soon be solar and wind powered streetlights outside of Spain as well.