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Street lights lie dormant and useless during the day, but they suck up power from the grid when they brighten up roads at night. Isn’t there a better way?
Yes, there is, and more areas are discovering the benefits of solar street lights to help drivers navigate roads. The premise is simple (and a little obvious). During the day, photovoltaic panels attached to the light soak up rays, which divert power to an attached rechargeable battery. At night, that battery powers the street light. The light is typically LED, since LED lights are able to provide brighter lighting for less energy consumption.
There are two main types of solar street lights:
Stand-Alone Solar Street Lights: These are completely self-contained systems that aren’t hooked up to the electric grid. They are easier to install and require less maintenance than other types of systems. However, they run the risk of not working if cloudy days or some other barrier prevents them from being exposed to the sun.
Grid-Interactive Solar Street Lights: Like the name implies, these systems use solar energy, but they also are hooked up to the electric grid. These are pricier and more complex, but they have the advantage of working even if the sun doesn’t want to cooperate. When the battery is full, they can also distribute surplus energy back to the grid.
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