First public lighting system that runs on solar, wind energy

First public lighting system that runs on solar, wind energy
Highlights

Spanish researchers have designed the first public lighting system that runs on solar and wind energy. The new system, developed after four years of research, is designed for inter-urban roads, motorways, urban parks and other public areas. It is unique and reduces the cost by 20 per cent compared with conventional public lighting systems, researchers said.

London: Spanish researchers have designed the first public lighting system that runs on solar and wind energy. The new system, developed after four years of research, is designed for inter-urban roads, motorways, urban parks and other public areas. It is unique and reduces the cost by 20 per cent compared with conventional public lighting systems, researchers said.

The system was developed by Ramon Bargallo, a researcher from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering (EUETIB) of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain, in collaboration with the company Eolgreen.

The prototype is 10 metres high and is fitted with a solar panel, a wind turbine and a battery. The turbine runs at a speed of 10 to 200 revolutions per minute (rpm) and has a maximum output of 400 watts (W). The researchers' aim is to make the lighting system even more environmentally efficient, so work is being done on a second prototype generator that runs at a lower speed (10 to 60 rpm) and has a lower output (100 W).

An electronic control system manages the flow of energy between the solar panel, the wind turbine, the battery and the light. "It takes very little wind to produce energy. The generator that has been developed can start working at a wind speed of only 1.7 metres per second (m/s), whereas current wind turbines need more than 2.5 m/s," said Bargallo. "This low intensity can provide six nights of electricity without wind or sun," he added.

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