Month: April 2018

  • Permanent vs Portable Solar Panels

    Permanent vs Portable Solar Panels for Remote Locations

    Solar panels provide flexibility for remote locations, allowing buildings in such areas to decrease reliance on power from a local grid. The sustainable systems also come with cost-effective benefits, serving as a viable alternative to traditional underground cables and trenching for power lines.

    Operations in far-flung areas have two options to consider for solar power: permanent and portable systems.

    Permanent Solar PV Installations

    Permanent solar panels are typically setup on rooftops of buildings. This ensures maximum space-saving benefits, as well as moderate insulation from outdoor elements. A drawback with this type of installation is mobility. Renewable power must be used within the area, confined by the general location of the battery components and connections to the system.

    However, permanently installed solar panels are usually larger and are more capable of supporting heavy power consumption, making the units perfect for large-scale operations in remote areas.

    Portable Solar Panels and Outdoor Operations

    Portable solar panels are mounted on a cart or tower for portability and exposure to sunlight. Operators can wheel the system around the remote site, providing power via a battery storage component. This setup is extremely useful for bringing power to extremely inaccessible locations, such as mining sites. Furthermore, the portable nature of the system is ideal for temporary projects, since setup and teardown can be completed quickly.

    Portable solar panels must be deployed within the boundaries of the work site, which can be difficult in crowded spaces. During bad weather, portable PV systems are easier to protect. Operators simply fold up the panels and wheel the unit in a storage room or area, away from rain or harsh winds.

    Permanent solar PV systems are constantly exposed to rough, outdoor weather. As a result, individuals must maintain the units by keeping them clean and removing debris (or snow) after a storm or blizzard.…

  • The Rise of Autonomous, Solar Street Lights for Cities

    The Rise of Autonomous, Solar Street Lights for Cities

    Cities need street lights to function properly at night. The units provide guidance for local residents and offer security around parking lots and commercial locations.

    Street lighting systems are also costly to operate and maintain. Large cities can have thousands of lamp posts around sidewalks, roads, parking lots and public transport stations. A combination of solar and sensor technology, as well as connected networks offer an automated approach to street lighting operations and maintenance.

    Automating LED Street Lights

    In order to maximize energy consumption, solar LED street lights as well as work lights must be strategically operated to only turn on during specific times of the day or night. One option would be to install day/night sensors, which would allow the system to automatically detect the amount of ambient light available in the environment. Alternatively, cities may implement timers or specific time-based controls to prevent activation during day-time cloudy conditions.

    Robust monitoring requires autonomous street lights to be connected to a smart network. This allows an operator to manage a group of LED street lights from a remote location. With such protocols in place, human workers no longer need to physically inspect every street lamp in the area. Sensors around the solar LED street lamps monitor and notify remote operators about downtimes, damage and the real-time status of the units.

    Maximizing PV Panel Designs

    Solar-powered LED street lights must incorporate certain designs, in order to promote reliability. Panels are typically located at the top of the pole, with a defined angle for maximum exposure to sunlight. Some units may come with solar trackers for optimized and automated tilting.

    Sturdy enclosures are needed for durability against outdoor elements, such as rain, dirt and corrosion. An enclosure may also house essential components of the solar street light, including the battery, battery charger, LED driver, wiring and etc.…