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Solar Street Lamps

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Kevin Harney, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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  2. Chris H.

    Chris H. Member

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    Kevin,

    I wonder how the cost of installing a solar tree compares to that of a standard street light? They look like they might be expensive...

    I like the idea of LED lighting, and especially solar powered (or wind powered) LED lights, but I wonder if there might be a more cost effective way of implementing it?

    What do you think?

    Chris H.
     
  3. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Being as I work for and Electric company. I can tell you it is scary for us. :eek: These are likely to cost LESS to install because there is no infastructure necessay to support them. No maintenance. LED bulbs are pretty much maintenance free as are the solar cells. We will be losing millions of dollars in income if they are adopted. Throw down a concrete slab and bolt on the branches and you are done. :frown: but great for the envirnment :smile:
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #4 doug, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
    Hmmm... I'm not so sure about this idea. I think it certainly would be great for a remote area. But in cities which already have a power infrastructure, I'm not sure it makes much sense. I'd think you'd be better off replacing the lamps in existing street lights with LED's, then using whatever renewable energy generation you have available. Solar, for example, might be more efficiently (in terms of power and material cost) generated on roof tops or at solar farms than on these solar trees. Also what kind of batteries do they use? How long will they last? Will the diurnal and seasonal temperature fluctuations be a problem. I'd think it would just be cheaper and more environmentally friendly to use the grid as your "battery".

    Anyhow, these are just my initial impressions.


    .
     
  5. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    You will note from the article that some cities are saving $100,000 in their electric bill alone by using them. And that is every year !!! That is a BIG deal. It can cost $40-50,000 just to install the light in the first place with all of the equipment necessary. Paid for in 2-3 years. That is a big deal.
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    $40-50K per solar tree? How much does it cost to replace the lamp in an existing street light with LED's? I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just that there may be simpler more efficient solutions.
     
  7. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Pretty cool. I would want one at my house. This could also go the the LED lighting thread.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  11. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Doesn't seem as if there would be enough surface area from the picture, but I guess there is.
     
  12. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    That surprised me as well. Interesting if that is really enough.
     
  13. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    The surface area of the whole mast is fairly high. And it's round, of course, so takes light from any direction.
    Clever!
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Yes but at a horrible angle during the most powerful sun periods.
     
  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I moved these last few posts to a similar thread.

    My feelings about this are similar to the street lamps at the start of this (now merged) thread. I appreciate that they are using the grid for storage (and not a local battery in the post). But I still think the solar power is better generated on a rooftop or wherever makes the most sense. One of the great advantages about electricity is that it is easily and relatively efficiently moved around. So there's no point in taking a hit in cost and efficiency by putting it on the light post directly.

    Btw, I've seen some of these LED street lamps in the Bay Area, and they are quite nice. A bright crisp white light going down where you need it (not scattering up) and not that sickly sodium yellow.
     
  16. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    One benefit, not utilized in this design, is if you do include a battery you can install a streetlight in a more remote area without running wires, saving that expense, and still get lighting during a power outage.
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Agreed. We discussed that above.
     

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