Solar Powered Street Lamps

The humble street light is joining the ranks of wind turbines and solar power plants in supplying renewable energy to the electricity grid.

A street lamp covered in photovoltaic cells, which can generate more energy from sunlight than it consumes to light the street, is being tested in the UK. And the lamp is already supplying electricity to the National Grid.

The SunMast, developed by Scotia, based in Aarhus, Denmark, generates electricity from sunlight during the day, which it supplies to the grid. It then simply draws electricity back from the grid at night to power its light.

If the trial in South Mimms in the UK is successful, the lamps could reduce the emissions produced by streetlights by 120 per cent, the company claims.

The photovoltaic solar cells, which are designed to generate electricity even on cloudy days, are fitted down the length of the mast, to increase their surface area. An inverter in the base of the lamp converts the DC electricity generated by the cells into AC for the grid.

If you’re thinking about collecting rain at home, there’s a chance this product — the RainPerfect solar-powered pump system — could come in handy. Once you have rainwater in the barrel, you’ll want to get it out and that can be done with the help of solar energy, a pump, and a garden hose.

RainPerfect is powered by a NiMH battery that’s charged by a 3.5-watt solar panel (provides a full charge in eight hours). With 15 feet of wire, the solar panel can soak up the sun on a nearby wall or fence or on the ground. It doesn’t need installation right near the rain barrel.

Also, “since it works with solar energy, there is no need for electrical work in order to have an electrical outlet for a rain barrel pump,” said Jeff Schopperle, Product Manager at ITT, manufacturer of RainPerfect.

The control box mounts on top of most styles of rain barrels. Below that, an intake hose and pump drops into the barrel. After attaching a simple garden hose to the control box, you should be able to draw up to 100 gallons on a single charge with a maximum pressure of 13 pounds per square inch.

RainPerfect sells online and through select retailers, according to the manufacturer, with an MRSP of $139.00.

via: Jetson Green & New Scientists