Month: January 2018

  • solar panel mounts

    Types of Solar Panel Mounts

    For solar-powered lighting systems, where or how you install solar panel mounts matters. Some mounting options offer better exposure to natural sunlight, while others actually reduce efficiency by incorporating incorrect tilt angles.

    With this in mind, below are top selections for mounting solar panels.

    Ground Mounting

    As the name suggests, ground mounts hold PV panels close to the ground, in a tilted configuration. There are a handful of advantages to ground-mounted solar panels. First, the units are easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning. Next, the system is less prone to accidental drops from elevated positions.

    However, because the panels are openly accessible, they are more prone to theft and contact with animals in the area. Additionally, ground-mounting is not suitable for locations with limited space or rocky terrain.

    Roof Mounting

    Roof mounting is a very cost-effective and efficient solution for solar-powered systems. This option keeps the panels elevated and away from harmful elements on the ground. Moreover, the units can be mounted flat on the roof, since the surface is already tilted or flat. Roof mounting solar panels may also provide insulation for buildings.

    A drawback with roof-mounted solar panels is accessibility. Operators must use a ladder or roping mechanism to reach the units. This can be extremely dangerous for high locations, during storms and wet weather.

    Pole Mounting

    Lastly, pole mounted solar panels incorporate the best features of roof and ground mounting configurations. The panels (up to 16) are secured on a pole, roughly 4 to 12 feet from the ground. This option is perfect for buildings with limited space on the roof and ground.

    Pole mounting is recommended for locations with several obstructions (such as trees or large ornaments), as a standalone pole can be setup in open sections of the space. Operators can maintain the PV panels without needing to climb a high location.…

  • How Does Cold Weather Affect LED Lights

    How Does Cold Weather Affect LED Lights

    Winter seasons come with extremely low temperatures, with can negatively affect the performance of LED lights. Although the fixtures are more powerful and reliable than traditional lighting options, such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps, it is important to factor in such environmental conditions to prevent premature failure during operation.

     

    Cold Weather Environments and LEDs

     

    LEDs are particularly efficient in locations with low temperatures. The units come with components, such as drivers, that can operate as low as 30°C to –40°C. Some specially engineered LED drivers can withstand temperatures down to –55°C.

     

    By comparison, fluorescent fixtures do not perform well in cold environments. As a result, the units are more suitable for applications in indoor locations. The lights have a performance threshold of roughly 5°C. When exposed to temperatures colder than this range, output becomes degraded.

     

    For example, exposing a fluorescent light to –10°C environments may result in a 50 percent loss in performance. At –40°C, the lamp would prematurely fail at 10 percent (or less) illumination.

     

    Protecting Outdoor LED Lights

     

    Protecting LEDs from cold temperatures require sturdy materials and seals. This is because snow and ice have a tendency to melt on the surfaces of LED lamps. When this occurs, water or moisture can get trapped inside the light, causing internal damage. A breather or proper ventilation can be applied to the enclosure of the fixture to reduce the buildup of moisture.

     

    In addition to protecting LED work lights, it is equally crucial to ensure the unit’s other components are well accounted for at all times. Wirings and pipes supporting the lamp should also feature some form of weatherproof or waterproof protection, such as a NEMA 4X rating.

     

    Lastly, as cold temperatures can affect the performance of switches, pushbuttons and lubrication, it is recommended to test LED fixtures periodically for consistent output.…