Solar energy today

Singapore, 15th May 2014

One of the subjects that came out of the Qatar event is the increasing usage of solar power and how countries (like Qatar) with lots of sunshine could make more beneficial use of this opportunity. It appears that the conversion and storage capacity of solar energy is improving rapidly with some of the companies providing solar solutions claiming 10 to 15 years life on the solar panels / batteries. Some of these companies were represented on the side lines of the conference with stands demonstrating their latest products.

One of the biggest challenges for all manufacturers in this industry is to “contain” the size of the panels. We have all seen the ugly oversized panels mounted on top of streetlights, bollards or other structures to convert solar energy to much smaller light fixtures. With the technology improving the relative size of the panels in relation to the energy to be delivered is improving as well and specifically in street and landscape area lighting, designs are coming up where the solar panels are integrated in the supporting structure whether pole or bollard. The battery capacity and performance is getting better allowing for relatively smaller units, easier to incorporate as well. From information I received it appears that a fully charged battery can last several days (up to 5, I was told) without sun. Glass technology (required to protect the solar collections cells) is improving allowing for more advanced and structurally stronger solutions as well.

There remains the issue of return on investments for many applications with lifespan too short to recoup the capital investment. But applications in new and remote areas where the costs of providing electricity is relatively high should see many opportunities with the continued quality and performance improvements. The integration allows for some sleek designs in the process.

Light Watch 5-81: Solar energy harvesting…from ugly oversized panels (some including wind turbines) to sleek design integration.






15. May 2014 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, going green, light watch, lighting and sustainability, lighting applications, lighting of the future | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. Kindly send me a quote for 500 pieces of street lights. i intend to buy asap


    Raphael Kilonzi

  2. Hi Martin,

    I am very impressed with your solar lighting designs. Specially the single pole inbuilt solar panel lighting design.

    One of my client is interested in it. Need to know how to procure it in New Delhi, India.

    Awaiting to discuss things in detail with you.

    Kindly connect.


  3. Hi Sudhir, you may approach me directly at
    Kind regards Martin

  4. Dear sir
    We are looking for street light with solar cell and I saw your product
    Please tell me about pf and lm/w with a price.
    Farzad hojati

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