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Published on January 25th, 2015 | by James Ayre


First Autonomous Public Lighting System That Runs On Solar + Wind Energy Developed

January 25th, 2015 by  

What is — according to its creators — the first autonomous industrialized public lighting system running on nothing but solar and wind energy was recently developed by researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, in cooperation with Eolgreen.

The system — which is designed for use along inter-urban roads and motorways, and in urban parks and various public areas — is reported to reduce total costs by as much as 20%, as compared to conventional systems.


Here are the details of the new system, via a recent press release:

The prototype is 10-meters 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 developers’ 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-meters per second (m/s), whereas current wind turbines need more than 2.5 m/s,” states creator Ramon Bargalló, a researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

The system can reportedly provide up to 6 nights of electricity with no wind or sun.

As it stands, Eolgreen has already signed agreements with the port of Huelva, the municipal authorities of Sant Boi de Llobregat + Girona, and a number of towns in Andalusia. The company is planning to produce ~700 of these street lights in 2015.

Image Credit: Eolgreen/Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya 


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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