Know How Solar LED Lighting Works
Much has been said, written, and researched about using renewable sources of energy, and rightly so because that is the need of the hour. It is only logical to use natural sources such as sun and wind to make our energy systems efficient, eco-friendly, and cost effective. There is a lot of emphasis laid on using applications powered by renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and pollution. As a result, today, we find several solar and wind projects being operated across the world. Solar LED lights are one of the common applications of renewable energy powered solutions. These lighting solutions are powered by solar cells, which work on the concept of the photovoltaic effect. What is this photovoltaic effect and how solar cells utilize it? This post introduces you to the working of a solar cell and through it focuses on the working of solar LED lights.
Structure and Working of a Solar Cell
Solar cells are made of silicon and are photovoltaic, which means they can convert the sunlight into electrical current. They form the dark portion on the solar panel. When the sun rays pass through this cell, they stimulate the electrons inside and push them to positively charged spaces. During this process, the solar energy absorbed is converted into the direct current. The current produced is transferred through the wire embedded in the cell to the battery for storage. The solar cells will stop the energy absorption and conversion after the sunset. The battery that has stored the electricity will continue to power the lamp. Usually, for small-capacity lights or standalone road lights, the panels are fitted right atop the fixture. However, for energy distribution to a large area or a gated community, several solar panels are set up on terraces, rooftops, or other open spaces which get plenty of natural light.
Details on the Working of Solar LED Lights
Any solar LED lighting system comprises four primary components ¨C a solar panel, the physical light fixtures, a battery, and electronic control systems for operation.
The solar panel is made of several photovoltaic solar cells and is exposed to the sun as it charges the battery during the day, with the help of photons in sunrays. This stimulates the negatively charged ions or electrons in the silicon cells.
The battery has a large enough storage capacity to save the produced energy. This capacity is decided depending upon the amount of natural light available on the day and the overall weather conditions of the region. Colder regions with less natural light would need high-capacity batteries.
The electronic controls have sensors that sense the amount of natural light outside and even the occupancy in the targeted area. These controls also determine the amount of stored energy; if the battery has a sufficient amount of energy, these electronic controls send a signal to stop battery storage and switch on the light. The luminosity is adjusted based on the natural light available. The light automatically switches off once the battery is low or there is some natural light available at the break of dawn. This prompts the electronic controls to signal the panel to restart energy storage.
Design and capacity of lights may vary depending on their application. For instance, for use in your home garden, you may require only a minimal capacity battery and wattage; however, lights on roads or floodlights in sports grounds require a much higher wattage and battery storage capacity. So, these lighting systems including the fixtures need to be designed differently for each set of applications.
Application Areas of Solar LED Lights
As such, LEDs are used almost everywhere. However, here are some peculiar commercial application segments of solar LEDs:
Heavy duty lights with high lumens for streets and freeways
Downward lights for parking lots
Floodlights for large grounds and sports complexes
Standalone pole fixtures with atop panels for gardens or premises
Focus lights for billboards and hoardings