Benefits of Solar Powered Street Lights
Global warming has become a significant concern in the world today. The Arctic and Greenland ice sheets melt faster than ever before, causing frequent flooding in coastal cities and regions. Even small islands are at risk of being swallowed up as sea levels continue to rise at an alarming speed.
The effects of melting ice sheets and glaciers that we’ve experienced so far may be too little compared to what we’ll face when they melt away completely. According to experts, if the rise in global emissions remains unchecked, by the summer of 2040, the Arctic could be completely ice-free.
The effects of this event would be devastating for everyone and not just coastal cities and small islands. Therefore, the world is slowly moving towards sustainable energy sources with zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Click here to learn more about greenhouse gases.
What are Greenhouse Gases?
Greenhouse gases have severe health and environmental effects. They are the primary cause of climate change as they trap heat from the sun, thereby warming the atmosphere and earth’s surface. Examples of these gases include carbon dioxide, water vapour, ozone, nitrous oxide, and methane.
Other effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gases include increased wildfires, disruption of food supply, and extreme weather. As more manufacturing industries are set up to meet the demands of the rising global population, more of these gases are being let into the atmosphere.
While it’s true that the effort to check this is slow, there are other ways we could help our world. Switching to a renewable energy source like solar could have profound positive effects on our climates.
What is Solar Power?
Solar power is usable energy generated from the sun in the form of thermal or electric energy. Solar energy is captured in several ways, with the most popular being photovoltaic cells, popularly known as solar panels. These convert the rays from the sun into usable electricity. On their own, these panels are incapable of providing reliable electrical energy. Therefore, they are combined with other components to make the system work.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels are also known as solar modules. They consist of a glass casing unit, a metal frame, a layer of silicon cells, and wires that transfer electric current from the silicon cells. Silicon is a nonmetal with conductive properties that convert the energy it absorbs from the sun into usable electricity. When the sun’s rays hit the silicon cells, it sets the electrons in the silicon in motion, causing a flow of electric current. This phenomenon is called the “photovoltaic effect”, which describes the functionality of solar panel technology.
The photovoltaic process can be broken down into the following broad steps:
- The silicon solar cells absorb radiation from the sun.
- As rays of light from the sun interact with the silicon cells, electrons are set in motion generating electric current.
- The wires connected to the panels receive and feed this electricity which is a direct current (DC) to a solar inverter. This inverter then converts the DC to usable alternating current (AC). Visit https://www.britannica.com/science/alternating-current to learn more about AC.
There’s zero-emission with solar power, which means fewer greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere. Since usable electricity can be generated for residential and commercial use, we could drastically cut down on unrenewable energy sources. While a complete, global switch to a sustainable power source like the sun may not be feasible, it could happen in areas that do not require much power. An example would be streetlights.
Solar Powered Street Lights
As their name implies, these are streetlights that are powered by the sun. It doesn’t take much to power streetlights which make solar powered street lights a convenient option. The key to zero-emission is by starting with these little areas that seem insignificant. Once these areas are taken care of, the technology can be extended to other energy-demanding areas.
Benefits of Solar Powered Street Lights
Aside from reducing harmful gas emissions, these lights have other benefits that communities stand to enjoy from having them line their streets.
They promote positive changes in the community, especially in the energy sector. People are constantly reminded of the need for renewable energy sources.
Lit-up Parking Lots
Parking lots are almost everywhere, yet they are hardly adequately illuminated. Residential blocks, malls, schools, parks, golf resorts, hospitals, and so on all have parking lots. However, in a bid to cut down on energy bills, most places skip installing adequate lighting in parking lots.
In less secured areas, petty thefts and even rape are common in parking lots as they are often dark at night. With solar-powered lights, less money is spent paying power bills. Installing them is relatively cheaper as well as there’s no need for trenching and additional cables. This means our parking lots can be a lot more illuminated and safer.
These lights often come with impressive features that help with saving energy. During the early hours of the night between 7 and 11, when there’s still some movement level, these lights shine at their brightest. As the night grows older with fewer human movements, their brightness deems until dawn or until the PIR sensor is activated by human movement. With this kind of automation, solar-powered streetlights most certainly help to save energy efficiently.
These lights are generally designed to last for years without the need for much maintenance. This allows communities to enjoy safer, brighter nights without much worry and disruption. These lights are independent of utility companies as they are wireless and off-grid in nature.
Electricity is something rural communities in developing and under-developed countries struggle to have. In these countries, power is yet to be constant even in their urban settlements, so rural areas are often overlooked. The solution to this problem is solar power that doesn’t rely on connecting to the primary power grid. With solar panels installed in under-privilege communities like this, they can enjoy a fraction of the benefits of modern technology.