French company Windela has created a street lighting system that works without any connection to the grid. The Windelux is powered by both a small vertical wind turbine and a solar PV panel.
The lamp is comprised of 84 LEDs and automatically switches on when a photosensitive cell detects that it's dark. A built-in control system stops the wind generator if the wind speed is too high and also allows the pole to act as a Wi-Fi relay.
Inside the pole is the battery that makes all this possible. A rechargable LiFePo battery stores the energy generated by the solar PV panel and wind generator and supplies four nights worth of light before needing to be recharged.
Street lighting accounts for a huge percentage of most cities energy use and costs. The Windelux seems to be an ideal solution for providing both street lighting and distributing Wi-Fi, without ever touching the grid. Currently, units have only been installed in France and Algeria, but it'd be great to see the technology make it's way across the Atlantic.
written by Glenn, May 23, 2009
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