Basics Of Solar Street Lighting System: A Beginners Guide

Date: 25/11/2021

Have you ever thought about the importance of lighting roadsides? And If you’ve ever been on any street literally anywhere, you’re most likely to have encountered street lights. These public infrastructures are extremely handy sources of light, especially at night when there aren’t many light sources around, and they help you navigate while walking, while driving, or even while commuting.

Whether it is to brighten our surroundings or for safety reasons, it is always important to have a good quality street lighting system. We all know how dangerous it can be to drive at night when there is no proper street lighting.

Efficient outdoor street lighting significantly increases the period of time a road or a pathway can be used once the sunlight fades. It also ensures the safety of pedestrians and drivers by enhancing visibility which eventually minimizes the risk of mishaps and accidents.

We can easily say that street lighting is one of the most significant public infrastructural amenities for ensuring the safety, comfort and wellness of the public.

However, while developing a street lighting plan, keen attention should be paid to the surroundings where the street lights will be installed. Some important factors should be taken into consideration are the width of the road and the street, distance between the two adjacent light poles, height of the surrounding buildings/ obstructions, the density of the trees if any, etc.

With conventional street lighting, we need proper access to the electricity grid for power and necessary cabling requirements for connecting the lights installed onto respective poles to the power source. Use of connected infrastructure and the electricity requirement is significant.

Now, what if we can get:

  • A street light that does not require any external power-grids. No electricity power stations, no electric transformers and no external cabling.
  • A street light that is 100% free of any recurring electricity bills!
  • A street light that does not use coal, natural gas and any other conventional sources of energy (to generate required electricity) which are limited and depleting day by day, causing drastic environmental damage.
  • A street light that is completely clean, produces zero air pollution, zero water pollution, and no greenhouse gas effects.
  • A street light with automatic dawn to dusk sensors: street lights will glow automatically once natural lights fade and it will switch-off once there is enough natural brightness. 
  • A street light that is extremely easy to install just on any independent pole or on any high-rise structure.
  • A street light that is super efficient and requires bare minimum maintenance. It runs for years without the influence of any external factor.

The answer is the Solar Street Lighting System. Yes, the everlasting, highly efficient solution is provided by the ultimate source of energy, the sun, which is glowing right over our heads for millions of years, free of cost!

Solar Street Lights are basically street lights powered by sunlight. There is no requirement or dependency on any other external power source. It uses just the power of the sun!

Solar power is completely clean, it produces zero air pollution, zero water pollution, and no greenhouse gas effects. It is also carbon-free, no harmful emissions are released when electricity is being produced by solar panels. 

Solar Power reduces the need for finite resources, which is so critical as we move into the future with ever depleting traditionally used resources to generate electricity. And yes, immediately after installation of the solar street lights, the electricity bill is reduced to Zero!

Basic Science Behind Solar Street Lighting System

As part of the Solar Street Lighting System, solar panels use sunlight as the source of energy. They use Photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert the sunlight into DC electricity through solar cells.  

The generated electricity gets stored in the batteries for use during night/ dark hours. Automatic dawn to dusk sensors ensure there is no additional switching on/off function needed to operate the lights.  

This process repeats everyday, and potentially enables street lights to have a sustainable source of energy for as long as there is sun.

Solar LED Lights are extremely efficient in the same way standard solar energy is efficient, they are completely off-grid and incorporate battery technology.

Photovoltaic cells are the ones responsible for absorbing solar energy during daytime. These cells eventually convert this solar energy into usable electrical energy that can power the lights/lamps during dark hours/ night-time. 

Photovoltaic process allows the solar cell to convert sunlight into usable electrical energy. This is done when negatively-charged electrons push solar energy into positively-charged spaces in the cells. This process allows solar energy to transfer into the electrons – becoming direct current electricity. Similar to how electricity-based gadgets work, wires from the solar cell are then connected to the battery in order to transfer the fresh direct current electricity from sunlight.

It’s when night arrives that the solar cell will stop the conversion process as sunlight disappears. Photoreceptors will help shut the solar cell down when there’s not enough sunlight to convert. This is when the battery starts supplying power to the LED lamp via other wiring.

Solar LED street lights are extremely useful in almost any area, especially in areas without much access to electricity. The portable and environment-friendly nature of a solar LED street light packed with such enormous benefits makes them an ideal replacement for ordinary street lights, and an excellent, no-brainer option for areas with no access or limited access to an electrical grid.

Components of a Solar Street Lighting System

The solar street lighting system typically comprises the following components:

  • Solar photovoltaic module (Solar PV Panels):
    • The solar panel is one of the most important components of solar street lights, as it converts solar energy into electricity. For street lights application, there are basically 2 types of solar panels: 
      • Mono-crystalline
      • Poly-crystalline.

Conversion rates of mono-crystalline solar panels are higher than poly-crystalline models. However, in regions where there is no scarcity of sunlight, poly-crystalline panels are widely used owing to their cost effectiveness.

  • Lighting system (Light source/lamp with charge controller)
    • LEDs are commonly used as the lighting source of modern solar street lights. LEDs come with enormous benefits and much improved performance over the earlier technologies used. With this type of lighting, 50% to 70% of energy savings are noticeably achieved.
    • Charge Controllers: 
      • Charge controllers are used to control the charging of the batteries.
      • A solar charge controller (frequently called regulator) is a solar-powered voltage and current regulator. It is similar to a regular battery charger, i.e. it regulates the current flowing from the solar panel into the battery bank to avoid overcharging the batteries. 
      • Battery and PV voltage and current can change in split seconds, therefore the power electronics in the controller must be able to respond fast enough to accommodate these changes.
      • You can have the best batteries and best modules in the world, but they are only as reliable as your controller.
  • Batteries: 
    • Rechargeable batteries are one of the most critical components of Solar Street Lighting System. 
    • Modern Solar Street Lights use Lithium technology with Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LifePO4/ LiPO4) being the most widely recommended and used. 
  • Pole (with arm & mounting structure)
    • Typically GI Poles of 5m/6m height are preferred for Solar Street Lighting Applications.

DIZA SOLAR’s Smart Semi-integrated Solar LED Street Lights have inbuilt batteries, along with the inbuilt charge controller and LED lamps, making the lighting system as one unit. 

Customized PV Panels are placed on a structure above the lighting system, together mounted on a pole, completing the Semi-integrated LED Solar Street Lighting System. 

Types of Solar Street Lighting System

In India, Solar Street Lighting systems are typically of three types:

  • Split-type, Non-Integrated Solar Street Lighting System:
    • Split-type units were widely used in the initial, introductory years of the Solar Street Lighting System in India. 
    • It has all the parts individually mounted on a pole.  
    • This setup is almost obsolete in the global market, however, In India it is still used in certain areas due to lack of awareness and as an economically cheaper option.
    • Earlier installed Non-integrated (Split-type) Solar Street lights that we have surveyed across the country use a separate Battery box. Batteries used are typically lead-acid type. Lead-acid type batteries for Solar Street lighting systems take longer to charge, are much heavier and less efficient.  
  • Integrated – All in One Solar Street Lighting System: 
    • Integrated – All-in-one Solar Street Lights are preferred for domestic applications such as garden lights, wall lights etc. This variant is not widely used for street lighting application owing to its basic limitations. 
    • PV Panels along with lights, batteries and charge controllers are combined as one single unit, thus restricting the overall efficiency and battery back-up capabilities for rugged, regular street lighting applications as compared to the more popular ‘Semi-Integrated Smart Solar Street Lighting System’.
  • Semi-Integrated Smart Solar Street Lighting System – Most preferred type of Solar Street Lights
    • It is the most sought after variant currently prevailing in the Solar Street Light market globally.
    • Batteries are housed inside the lighting system module. Lights/lamps, charge controller and batteries comprise one system. PV panels are additionally mounted on a separate structure onto the same pole.
    • Batteries used are either Li-Ion or Li-PO4. Li-ion is the traditionally used option with a standard 2 years warranty. However, LiPO4 batteries are being widely used for their efficiency, better discharge rate and long life. It comes with a standard warranty of 5 Years.
    • DIZA SOLAR’s DSL Series  covers the entire range from 9W to 30W Solar LED Street Light variants available with customisable technical parameters.

DIZA SOLAR is taking small but definitive and responsible steps in moving towards renewable energy. We are really proud and excited to invite you to experience this journey with us towards super smart power solutions for our current and future world.

If you are interested in knowing more about highly reliable Solar LED Street Lighting Solutions that are 100% designed and manufactured in India with power-packed smart, interesting and unique features, you’re in the right place. 

Our team at DIZA SOLAR specialises in Smart Solar LED Street Lighting Solutions with three decades of combined experience under one roof in India. Be a part of the revolution in renewable energy. Get in touch with us to learn more.

For any immediate queries, please reach out to us at 8368624452

Download our latest Smart LED Solar Street Lights “DSL Series” Brochure

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