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Holonic Streetlamp draws on sun and wind to provide light

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June 12, 2012

The Holonic Streetlamp utilizes both solar and wind power

The Holonic Streetlamp utilizes both solar and wind power

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Streetlamps burn all night long, 365 nights a year, yet they also spend all day soaking up the Sun’s rays. This combination of regular usage alternating with sunlight exposure would seem to make them ideal candidates for the solar-power treatment. Indeed, companies such as Sharp and several others currently offer solar-powered streetlamps. Spain’s University of Seville, however, has developed a streetlamp that harnesses the power not only of sunlight, but also of wind.

The device was invented mainly by María Jesús Ávilais, and is known as the Holonic Streetlamp – “holonic” referring to the fact that it is one unit composed of more than one system. It incorporates two top-mounted polycrystalline photovoltaic panels, along with a vertical axis wind turbine built into its galvanized steel supporting structure.

Power generated by the panels and turbine is piped down to two 12-volt lead gel batteries (although lithium-ion is an option), contained in an underground compartment beneath the lamp. When an integrated photocell detects that night is falling, those batteries power up an array of LED bulbs, providing an output of up to 3,520 lumens – lower intensity can be programmed, as can specific on and off times.

The Holonic Streetlamp provides illumination via an array of LEDs

The system can reportedly withstand winds of up to 140 km/h (87 mph), and operates in temperatures ranging from -30 to 40ºC (-22 to 104ºF). Unfortunately, that temperature range would disqualify it for use in many parts of the world.

Although the lamps themselves can operate off the grid, they can also be remotely monitored and adjusted via a telemanagement system. Additionally, they can be wired into a municipal power system, allowing traditionally-sourced electricity to be available if needed. The bulbs should be good for at least 50,000 hours of run time. Once the streetlamp as a whole is past its prime, approximately 95 percent of its materials can be recycled.

The university’s technology transfer office, OTRI, currently has a working prototype of the Holonic Streetlamp, and is seeking buyers for the technology. It may face some competition from Urban Green Energy, however, which is also marketing a solar/wind turbine hybrid streetlamp system.

Source: OTRI

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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10 Comments

The first obvious problem is that the turbine is too small and that it is located below the lamp which means it will create moving shadows whenever the wind blows. Secondly why would you design round solar panels when square is the standard for economic reasons and why not just put them on top of the lamp rather than putting them on thin stalks where a strong wind will whip them around till they break. Why why why?

Michaelc
12th June, 2012 @ 10:05 pm PDT

I agree with your comments, Michael - the panel should be square and on top and there is an argument for putting the turbine above the lamp . But I do like the simplicity of the approach, especially of the turbine, not everything needs to be over-designed - function over form!

100Jimbo
13th June, 2012 @ 03:28 am PDT

Michaelc,

Seems to me the reason for this design, the round solar panels and the location of the funny turbine design underneath the light, it is so... the top, lamp and panels can look like the Enterprise from Star Trek.

I agree with you in your comment but I wanted to share my take on the why. In Madrid like in many other places there is a vandalism problem with street lights in parks. I would rather see designs that minimize the side of the light engine with tough bright LED groups with passive heat-sinks built into the design and with very high poles and distant in between with the lamps hanging up high 30 ft/ 10 m in the air, from parallel power/support cables, the type of lamp/power that Ikea and others sell for home lighting with pendants but for street lighting.

There has been at least one proposal/installation featured here, in gizmag. I think it was in a town square in the Netherlands. I found it!

http://www.gizmag.com/philips-freestreet-suspended-street-lights/22335/

Jorge Alonso
13th June, 2012 @ 03:35 am PDT

I just noticed the star trek similarity... I dont wonder why they dont incorporate the wind turbine/catcher in the solar discs themselves. I would imagine that the spinning discs would still capture light as well, and the spinning discs will capture the winds as they blow. I am not saying put the wind paddle below the solar disc, but design the discs to capture the wind.

yinfu99
13th June, 2012 @ 09:05 am PDT

They have them in Hawaii already.

Here is a video

PizzaEater
13th June, 2012 @ 09:23 am PDT

This thing is poorly designed. wind stress will tear it apart. Round panels are unique, which means more expensive to repair. non-modular. panels should be one larger regular panel, with the improved turbine directly beneath the panel and above the lights for no shadows and the fan will keep the components cool for better performance. Batteries and all should be in the same unit, to prevent theft, vandalism, or metal fatigue to long wires. Entire head units could be removed for shop repair if needed. And the pole, is just a pole. Do NOT make the panels revolve. this will allow for bad connections, fatigue to solar panels, stresses they are not designed for. Make sure this thing is quiet, or it will be destroyed by frustrated people trying to sleep!

kellory
13th June, 2012 @ 02:26 pm PDT

Power management may get more bang for your buck, tonight. Turn off about 1/2 the streetlights at midnight, turn them back on around 0500 or 0600. Turn off more lights and install a movement detector that activates at night, mvmnt is detected and when the light is off. Obviously not every other lamp can be turned off, but a simple study could be conducted, base it on risk. If you are out at night you should have your own lights anyway! For pedestrians, the mvmnt detector would activate the light.

David Finney
13th June, 2012 @ 04:35 pm PDT

This was my attempt to illustrate the use of hybrid solar-wind power for street lights!



Tony De Palma
14th June, 2012 @ 12:18 pm PDT

@Tony De Palma, much better design! I like the use of space, and the tracking system, regular shaped panels that can be replaced easily, and all components out of reach of vandals. ( I liked the music too!) Only thing not addressed would be noise levels from the vertical windmill.

People lose their minds when noise will not let them sleep! I honestly believe people will shoot them if there is too much noise.

kellory
14th June, 2012 @ 05:13 pm PDT

Although amusing, this ranks with the highway ramps that generate electricity as cars drive over them. Items like these street lamps will NEVER, EVER, EVER generate enough electricity to offset the cost of manufacturing. Its only useful application is illumination so far off the grid that running power lines to that location is cost inneffective.

JBar
11th July, 2012 @ 07:47 am PDT
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