Hybrid Exterior Light Poles

Hybrid light pole closeup

The batteries powering the LED lamps on this lighting fixture are charged by sunlight and wind.

Recently Facilities Management and Services (FMS) installed new solar and wind lights around the exterior of Argonne’s administrative building.

These advanced lights feature a wind turbine on top and a solar panel. This hybrid streetlight produces electricity from two green renewable energy sources providing a bright LED light.

The light uses a Green Utility System (GUS) Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) on top combined with solar photovoltaic panels that can be positioned to gain the most exposure to the sun. The panels can be tilted to pivot from 0° to 50° up and down and can rotate 90° as well. The solar panels are controlled by an access panel that allows directional movement.

All of the power sourced is stored in batteries located in the base of the light pole. A photosensitive switch turns the LED light on at dusk and off at dawn. Additional benefits of this fixture are that it is free standing and can be easily installed, it has no green house gas impact, it is not connected to the electrical grid and it resolves a safety condition of inadequate illumination where installed.

The 12-volt direct current batteries store enough wind and solar energy to light the lamps even if there has been no wind or sun for two to three days. Argonne plans to monitor the performance of these lights especially during the winter months. The lights became fully functional on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Eugene Kendall (FMS) coordinated installing these new street lights. He is heading up the various lighting upgrades as part of the Argonne Energy Program in FMS. This is but one small part of a much larger and technically challenging lighting upgrade program happening at Argonne to increase energy conservation throughout the site. Stay tuned for more to come.

To view pictures and a video of the new street lights plus other building lighting upgrades go to Flickr.

Posted Jan. 5, 2011