First autonomous public lighting system that runs on solar and wind energy
The first autonomous industrialized public lighting system that is running on nothing but solar and wind energy was recently created by researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, in cooperation with Eolgreen.
The system is designed for use along inter-urban roads and motorways, and in urban parks and various public areas and is reported to reduce total costs by as much as 20%, as compared to conventional systems, Clean Technica writes.
According to a recent press release, the prototype is 10-meters high and is fitted with a solar panel, a wind turbine and a battery. The turbine runs at a speed of 10 to 200 revolutions per minute (rpm) and has a maximum output of 400 watts (W). The developers’ aim is to make the lighting system even more environmentally efficient, so work is being done on a second prototype generator that runs at a lower speed (10 to 60 rpm) and has a lower output (100 W). An electronic control system manages the flow of energy between the solar panel, the wind turbine, the battery and the light.
“It takes very little wind to produce energy. The generator that has been developed can start working at a wind speed of only 1.7-meters per second (m/s), whereas current wind turbines need more than 2.5 m/s,” states creator Ramon Bargalló, a researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
The system can reportedly provide up to 6 nights of electricity with no wind or sun.
As it stands, Eolgreen has already signed agreements with the port of Huelva, the municipal authorities of Sant Boi de Llobregat + Girona, and a number of towns in Andalusia. The company is planning to produce ~700 of these street lights in 2015.
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