Solar powered lighting system is a self-sufficient and cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar energy does not release any greenhouse gases and is the most abundant and cleanest energy source available to us. Our country is blessed with six different seasons and as per the studies, India gets around 300 clear and sunny days per year or around 1500 to 2000 sunshine hours per year, which is a lot more than the current total energy consumption. This clearly indicates the potential of the renewable energy market in our country to grow at a fast pace. With the prices of solar panels dropping in the recent years, solar power market in India is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 40% during the period of 2020 to 2025.
Solar street lights are used both in public and private properties to provide high illumination for the outdoors. Since India is identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate changes, a very frequent question asked in terms of the performance of solar street lights is how long the solar lights last during rainy seasons. The solar street light system and its components are waterproof to withstand the changes in the weather. Even though the lights are most effective and shine brighter when they receive direct sunlight, the solar street lights still work even when the light is partially blocked by clouds, LifePO4 battery used in solar street lights works on low voltage i.e 3.2 volt, hence solar panels doesnt need to produce higher voltage to charge the battery,even with minimal sunlight controller still charges the battery during the day.Solar street lights operate on the energy radiated by the sun during the day and illuminate the lights at night. On rainy days, the sunlight is weaker and the charge capacity of the lights may get relatively weaker.
Nevertheless, solar street lights are equipped to maintain the charge in the batteries and most of the lights have longer operative hours. They are capable of shining for several days before having to recharge. Even on a rainy day, there is always visible light that penetrates through the clouds for the solar panels to absorb and light up the solar street lights. Solar power production does not come to a halt during monsoons but the intensity may be reduced. Sunlight colliding with clouds, bouncing off the ground and buildings or reflecting shiny surfaces is called diffuse light. Although reflected sunlight is less intense than direct sunlight, the photovoltaic system can produce electricity even with this indirect sunlight.
Proper positioning of solar panel helps the solar street lights to function better during rainy and cloudy days. Before installation of solar street lights, you may want to check if there are any trees or buildings blocking the passage of direct sunlight and the panels must be angled in such a way that there is no shadow falling anywhere on the panels. Rain can actually work in your favor when it washes away bird droppings, pollen, dust and dirt from the panels. Clean solar panels are able to perform more efficiently and the exact amount of brightness will vary depending on how heavy and continuous the rainy days are. You may also have to check the batteries if they are out of their warranty period and replace if necessary for their better performance.
All-in-One solar street lights with motion sensor identify moving objects by detecting infrared waves that radiate from them and increase the brightness of the lights electronically. The lights illuminate at 100% brightness with motion detection and stays at that brightness for a few minutes and the brightness gets adjusted to a dim mode of 25% if there is no motion detected, and again goes to 100% brightness when motion is detected. This function helps the charge last longer to illuminate the lights during cloudy nights. Integrated solar street lights tend to charge faster because of the bigger solar panels used in them and the MNRE Model-II integrated solar street lights illuminate at full brightness for a few hours and then at a lower level until sunrise. This dimming option helps save enough charge to provide sufficient light for monsoon days.
Solar street lights are designed for outdoor use and are made water resistant with IP65 rating. The fact that India receives solar energy throughout the year has created enormous opportunities to utilize solar energy for domestic as well as commercial uses and due to the innovations in the solar sector, solar energy is becoming inexpensive compared to other conventional energy sources.