In partnership with UNEP

Hybrid solar and wind lighting illuminates the future

24 January 2012 | William Brittlebank | Energy, Europe

Hybrid solar and wind lighting illuminates the future

A hybrid light system that incorporates a solar panel and wind turbine to provide street lighting, security lighting and outdoor lighting is an innovative, new to market, commercially applicable product for the UK and internationally for 2012.

Created by Kestrel Renewables,the lighting units can be installed in retail parks, industrial estates, car parks, bus and railway stations and pretty well any location where UV light and wind flow are available. Already, a compact hybrid unit has been successfully installed beside the harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.

The highly efficient  “off-grid” lighting systems are designed to operate as one integrated system, including power generation, storage and management (through solar panels, wind turbine, battery and controller). The units have a reduced installation impact and require no trenching or cabling.

Kestrel Group Chairman and Founder Andy Thorne, said: “This is a new venture from Kestrel Group and demonstrates our commitment to the environment and our ever growing need to find a more harmonious way to leave a legacy of good stewardship to our children.”

Kestrel Renewables sits within the highly successful Kestrel Group,which was a recipient of the Queen's award for enterprise in 2010 and is a winner of a National Business award for customer focus. Kestrel Renewables is a member of elite sustainable business alliance, Sustain Worldwide.

The hybrid light units have a similar purchase price to conventional grid ‘street’ light units, yet over a 15-year period have been estimated to reduce operating costs by up to 40% in comparison. Additionally, the hybrid light units have no running costs except for maintenance requirements.

Technical features

The hybrid powered lighting units feature a 24 volt charging / discharge system, with minimal power loss. PV gel batteries have low self-discharge and long cyclic life. All units are suitable for use in a temperature range from –40C to +60C.

Wind turbines are high efficiency magnetic systems, virtually maintenance free with long lifespan. Start up wind speeds are rated at 3 m / second. Optimum rated wind speeds are 12 m / second, with a survival speed of 60 m / second. There is a dump load, over run system, with electro magnetic braking.

Solar PV panels are mono crystalline silicon, encapsulated in tempered glass. Average conversion efficiency is 19%. Light units are LED, with an average service life of 100,000 hours.

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