Good Thinking

New Spanish streetlight powered by the sun and the wind

New Spanish streetlight powere...
The UPC/Eolgreen streetlights incorporate both solar panels and a wind turbine (Photo: Eolgreen)
The UPC/Eolgreen streetlights incorporate both solar panels and a wind turbine (Photo: Eolgreen)
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The UPC/Eolgreen streetlights incorporate both solar panels and a wind turbine (Photo: Eolgreen)
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The UPC/Eolgreen streetlights incorporate both solar panels and a wind turbine (Photo: Eolgreen)
One of the streetlights being manufactured at Eolgreen (Photo: Eolgreen)
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One of the streetlights being manufactured at Eolgreen (Photo: Eolgreen)
The streetlight's composite-bladed turbine starts generating electricity at a minimum wind speed of 1.7 meters (5.6 ft) per second, moving at 10 to 200 revolutions per minute and producing a maximum output of 400 watts (Image: UPC)
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The streetlight's composite-bladed turbine starts generating electricity at a minimum wind speed of 1.7 meters (5.6 ft) per second, moving at 10 to 200 revolutions per minute and producing a maximum output of 400 watts (Image: UPC)
The current prototype stands 10 meters (32.8 ft) tall, and – along with an LED lighting array – features photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine, a battery pack, and an electronic control system that manages the flow of energy between those components (Photo: UPC)
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The current prototype stands 10 meters (32.8 ft) tall, and – along with an LED lighting array – features photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine, a battery pack, and an electronic control system that manages the flow of energy between those components (Photo: UPC)
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If you're trying to save power, you generally don't leave your lights on all night. With a few exceptions, however, that's what cities do with their streetlights. That's why some groups have developed streetlights with built-in solar panels. A Spanish team is now taking things a step farther, with a stand-alone streetlight that runs off of both solar and wind power.

The light is being developed through a collaboration between the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Spanish startup Eolgreen.

The current prototype stands 10 meters (32.8 ft) tall, and – along with an LED lighting array – features photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine, a battery pack, and an electronic control system that manages the flow of energy between those components.

Its composite-bladed turbine starts generating electricity at a minimum wind speed of 1.7 meters (5.6 ft) per second, moving at 10 to 200 revolutions per minute and producing a maximum output of 400 watts. A planned second-generation turbine will only need to turn at 10 to 60 rpm, producing 100 watts as it does so.

The streetlight's composite-bladed turbine starts generating electricity at a minimum wind speed of 1.7 meters (5.6 ft) per second, moving at 10 to 200 revolutions per minute and producing a maximum output of 400 watts (Image: UPC)
The streetlight's composite-bladed turbine starts generating electricity at a minimum wind speed of 1.7 meters (5.6 ft) per second, moving at 10 to 200 revolutions per minute and producing a maximum output of 400 watts (Image: UPC)

The commercial version of the streetlight should feature two 100-watt polycrystalline solar panels, an array of Philips LEDs that put out either 3,500 or 4,000 lumens (depending on the streetlight model), and a lithium iron phosphate battery pack that can store enough power to run the lights for up to 3.5 nights per charge – an optional higher-capacity battery could reportedly manage 6.5 nights.

While the streetlights can run off-grid, groups of up to 99 of them are also able to send status updates via UHF to a central station, once every 30 minutes. This will allow administrators to know of any technical problems, so that they can be repaired.

Eolgreen has reportedly signed agreements with several Spanish municipalities, and plans to produce 700 of the lights this year. Spain’s University of Seville is also working on a solar/wind-powered streetlight, while New York-based Urban Green Energy already manufacturers one.

Sources: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Eolgreen

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4 comments
Freyr Gunnar
How much does all this cost vs. a single nuclear power station that will last decades and run 24/7 with no CO2 emissions? Maybe Spain made the wrong decision investing so much in solar. www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/30/new-europe-spain-solar-power
S Michael
It would be interesting after a year to see their vandalism and theft stats on these light.
Jay Finke
placed in the right location, this looks like a great idea. I would like a few for my shop, and if I was still on the farm I could use about 20 of them.
Prime Technologies.
This type of hybrid street light fixture is not new. It has been on the market in China and Germany for some time now. My concerns with this design is Vandalism! We have seen a lot of that down here on Curacao where regular Solar Only street lights in remote areas is concerned. Such as batteries, solar panels, and lights stolen!