We have been posting the components of the solar street lights at www.soltekrenewables.com. So far we have covered the 12-Volt rechargeable batteries, galvanized steel poles and CREE LED fixtures. Next up are the first point of contact for energy collection and generation: the solar panel. Solar panels are the point where photons from the sun (light) are collected, converted to electricity and transmitted via wires to the rechargeable batteries for storage and distribution at night to the LED luminaires. Sizes of solar panels have been steadily decreasing since their early years of widespread use. While the panels have been decreasing in size, they have also been increasing in efficiency. Efficiency is the amount of energy that is converted to usable electricity. Typical efficiencies run between 11% to 15%, with some companies offering panels at 18% efficiency.
Factors that can affect efficiency are reflective coatings on the panel to increase light infiltration, orientation of the solar panel relative to the sun, obstructions (shade from trees, buildings, etc.) and ambient temperature, to name a few. For the purposes of solar street lights, the optimum fixed panel position is tilted toward the south (for those of us in the USA). An angle of at least 20 degrees optimizes efficiency; however for those at higher latitudes, this angle will increase depending on your particular geographical location. For those on the equator, the optimum angle would be zero (as the sun crosses perpendicular twice a year), etc.
Solar panels for SolTek Renewables‘ line of solar street lights are higher on the efficiency rating, are minimally affected by temperature (as they do not rest on a surface such as a roof or ground that radiates stored heat from below) and can be coated with nano-coating applications to further increase prolonged clean panel surfaces in dusty locations. As for the aesthetics of a solar panel on top of the pole, the high efficiency and relatively small size of each panel do not detract from the design of the pole and fixture. Furthermore, it is nice to see that the energy used to light up your lights is collected with that solar panel on the top. A small reminder that you are now self-sufficient, off-grid and using a 100% renewable energy light where you own the energy that you use. An honest solution that is better for the environment and even better for your wallet.
Mario @ Your Solar Link
You may have seen the new light fixtures that are going up around town where the light is a very bright white light and it is all coming from a relatively small and low-profile fixture. Chances are that the fixture is one that uses LEDs as a light source. The advantage of LEDs are numerous:
1. LEDs produce very little heat compared to traditional lighting sources (incandescent, halogen, sodium and mercury vapor).
2. LEDs are a little more costly at first, but they quickly recuperate their costs with minimal energy usage over the long term.
3. LEDs are safer for the environment than induction lighting (that have about the same life-span) which require hazardous materials clean-up protocol due to the use of mercury in induction lamps.
4. LEDs come in a variety of color ranges (measured in Kelvin).
5. LEDs can be incorporated into a variety of housing styles and configurations.
As fixtures incorporate LEDs, their low-demand of energy allows them to be used in solar lighting applications. As energy demand is low, off-grid system autonomy increases with the use of highly-efficient rechargeable 12 Volt lead-acid batteries (very much the same as what is in your car) and smart controllers to regulate the amount of energy fixtures use each night. Typical autonomy runs for about 5 nights. That means that when the solar panels collect sunlight (about 2 to 4 hours) on day 1, then the LED fixture will continue to illuminate at night for the next 5 nights assuming that days 2 through 5 are completely cloud-covered or occluded.
Pathways and home use applications are also options for off-grid solar lighting. Large driveways or park pathways benefit with the use of the Lita, Lumina and Brighta series lights. As each light is a stand-alone and fully-contained unit, no wiring to trenching is required. So getting light to hard-to-reach places or where you may not have considered illuminating (think, the end of a boating dock or on a rocky surface) is achievable with the sustainable and 100% renewable energy lights from SolTek Renewables.
And let’s not forget lighting for smaller or design-specific applications such as signage lighting, interior lighting (within 40 feet of the solar panel) and event lighting. The SPG series allows for the solar panel, rechargeable battery (with integrated box) and smart controller (called an SPG) to be placed in areas where sun shines and a light fixture or fixtures can be placed away from the SPG unit. Spot, flood and bar lighting with a range of Wattages are available for each location. All fixtures again utilize LEDs to maximize the system autonomy while provided industry-standard white light.
Solar lighting from SolTek Renewables is here to stay and will bring the power of free energy to users and owners of their autonomous lights. No operating costs mean that money is immediately being saved and the environment is spared the damaging effects of dirty energy sources. Each light is a stand-alone unit that uses 100% renewable energy, guaranteed. Stay tuned for our next component (the solar panel) of the lights offered by SolTek Renewables.
Mario @ Your Solar Link
So we see them all the time, but may not think about what keeps them from falling over or better yet, what whey are made of. We’re talking about street light poles. The most common are galvanized steel poles and concrete poles. Poles used by SolTek Renewables for their solar street lights are hollow galvanized steel tubes with 0.2″ thick walls that are within industry standards for use on public and private landscapes. Each pole has a flanged base with standard-spacing bolt holes allow for the 1″ thick and up to 5′ long anchor/J-bolts to grab onto the pole flange and keep its components from falling over. Each light from SolTek Renewables is engineered to withstand wind loads of up to 100 mph (and can be customized for higher velocities), so they are sure to keep up with traditional street lights on our roads and in commercial parking lots.
Poles are engineered for each light configuration and intended use (pathways to parking lots to 6-lane highways) and can be powder-coated for color-matching to site-specific aesthetics and vernacular. At 600 pounds each for the Supera street lights, poles are responsible for:
1. Elevating the CREE LED fixture to a height that is sufficient to cast light over a given area.
2. Mounting to the ground/foundation to where it will withstand the test of time and the elements.
3. Acting as a pathway through which wiring passes from the battery box (for those buried at the base of the pole) up to the CREE LED luminaire and the solar panel at the top of the pole.
4. Serve as the solid foundation to which the solar panel is attached at the top (for most in the solar street light series).
5. Holding the lamp arm and CREE LED luminaire (dual fixtures are also available, check out your local big box store parking lot to see some dual lights).
6. Withstanding light collisions from vehicles near the base as well as wind shear from those pesky storms (standard solar street light poles are designed for 100 mph conditions).
So, is it safe? Yes. Yes. And, yes. The future of street and parking lot lighting is going solar and SolTek Renewables is here to bring it directly to you. A smart and financially responsible choice for property developers, city facilities managers and anyone who wants to add commercial-grade exterior lighting to their spaces while doing it with 100% renewable energy!
Mario @ Your Solar Link
The new kids on the block are starting to take the world by storm, and are only going to grow in popularity and efficiency. No, they’re not a pop sensation of teens singing songs of growing up and high school sweethearts. The new kids are solar street lights that will bring energy production and dispersement directly at the site of the light itself. Solar street lights have come a long way since their piecemeal configurations of large solar panels and inefficient luminaires. Today, companies such as SolTek Renewables are working to supply customers across the globe with a new generation of area lighting that is on par and above the standards of conventional lighting methods. Their lights use CREE LED fixtures that are highly efficient, safe to use, generate minimal heat and produce illumination (in foot candles) that often exceeds traditional non-LED luminaires. With these positive aspects, the most cost-effective energy source to power LED luminaires is by employing sealed lead-acid gel rechargeable batteries, much like what is in most cars on the roads today.
So, why use a lead-acid battery as opposed to a Lithium battery? First, the cost of lead-acid batteries is within the economic realm of most users. Their capacity is high for the size and initial investment, so they are the chemistry of choice for solar street lights. Being that the batteries are essentially car batteries (and comparatively priced), they are 95% recyclable and have a typical life-span of 5 to 7 years. Coupled with a smart controller that regulates the charge from the battery to the LED fixture at night, lead-acid batteries have a system autonomy of anywhere between 3 to 6 days (typically toward 6 days). This means that the solar panel will collect photons (light) from the sun in a span of 2 to 4 hours and charge the battery to capacity. At night, the light will illuminate with a steady discharge from the lead-acid battery as specified by the controller. If the following 3 to 6 days are occluded with thick cloud cover or stormy conditions, the battery will continue to operate as intended over the next 3 to 6 days until it needs the 2 to 4 hours of sunlight to get a full charge again.
What does this mean for regions where sunlight is more likely to be out more than once every 6 days (realistically, how often, if ever, does that happen)? It means that illumination autonomy can be achieved by users/owners of solar street lights. It means that you are now 100% energy efficient with regard to generation and use. It means you are using 100% renewable energy. It means local energy generation, thus eliminating the dirty energy of coal and oil sources. It means savings for your local economy as you have eliminated fees incurred by local utility companies (they can raise the rates all they want, you are not paying a penny to them with autonomous street lights). It means it can happen now (2 months installation from factory to site). It means that you save money from the get-go as you have eliminated trenching and expensive wiring to the utility grid.
Mario @ Your Solar Link
Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.
This stylish, sleek and reliable pocket size Universal Battery Charger (Juicebar Solar Charger) is proven to be your best friend in a situation when conventional electric supply is not available or if you are trying to use eco-friendly renewable power supplies.
Great as a solar phone charger for any type of Mobile Phones, IPhones, PSA, PDA, Mp3 Players, Satellite Navigation, and much more.
Get it HERE.
SOLAR PATH LIGHTS.
Stainless Steel Conical Solar Path Light (Set of 2).
Path solar lights are an excellent choice for lighting your garden paths, walkways, driveway perimeters and other regions in your landscape. They are often used in multiples to guide the way along a set of stairs or a dark walk.
Featured Stainless Steel Solar Light set uses 2 ultra-bright LEDs for maximum light output and minimum battery usage.
The lights are safe around kids and pets and water and corrosion resistant.
Read more HERE
STONE SOLAR SPOT LIGHTS.
Stone Solar Spot Lights (also known as Solar Rock Lights) completely camouflage with existing landscapes and look like any other rock in your garden.
SOLAR GARDEN FOUNTAINS.
How to start using ecologically friendly energy to power up your garden fountains and other garden water features?
Why not go with a solar powered water pump?
To accommodate your needs the Solar Fountain Pump Systems we carry range from 2 to 8 Watt. Browse our collection of solar water pumps for your fish ponds and solar fountains.
Enjoy your garden water features and your energy savings at the same time. Make a note of the various power levels and the flow rate of the solar water pumps before your purchase.
Please write us your review after your purchase. Your opinion is important to us!
DECORATIVE SOLAR ACCENT LIGHTS.
Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.
Solar Spot Light - $26.99
Super High Output Spot Light (4 Super Bright LEDs). Free Shipping!
Solar spot lights like this one rely on energy from the sun to charge their batteries and provide light throughout the night.
This means that there is no need to tap into the electrical grid for these lights to operate.
The solar spot lights will work consistently, even if the whole neighborhood is dealing with a power outage.
Learn more about Solar Spot Lights at http://www.yoursolarlink.com/solar-spot-lights, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.
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