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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Solar street lighting: a key technology en route to sustainability

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Today's solar street LED lights are able to provide reliable, quality lighting both in developing and developed countries, thereby reducing light poverty and the economic and environmental costs of electric outdoor lighting. Rapid technical innovation and dramatic price reduction in the LED, PV module, and battery components, which has occurred in the last 5 years, will accelerate the penetration of solar street LED lights across the world. Applications will not be limited to countries with significant insolation only but will extend to Northern regions as well. This study provides a critical overview of a technology that will play an important role en route to global sustainability. WIREs Energy Environ 2017, 6:e218. doi: 10.1002/wene.218 This article is categorized under: Photovoltaics > Systems and Infrastructure Solar Heating and Cooling > Economics and Policy Solar Heating and Cooling > Systems and Infrastructure
Simplified block diagram of solar LED street lighting: PV module, charge controller (DC/DC converter regulated by a microcontroller), battery, and white LED array.
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Harare's Enterprise Road during a rainy night on March 21, 2016. The city is completing a massive switch to solar lighting with 10,000 solar poles installed (Photo courtesy of Steven Chikosi).
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Cost breakdown of the components of a solar street LED light in 2012 (Reproduced from Ref, with permission).
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Some of the 136 Monopole poles installed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Photo courtesy of Scotia, Vedbaek, Denmark).
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One example of an integrated solar LED street lamp, including sensor, PV module, battery and controller. (Image courtesy of DEL Illumination, Shenzhen, China).
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