Among the many applications of solar power, stand-alone solar lighting systems are a versatile application as it helps to serve many purposes. A solar lighting kit uses a dedicated solar panel which can provide enough energy to power a single or several bulbs. These are available in the form of a kit and users can easily assemble them.
Solar lighting systems find uses in several applications which include outdoor lighting, emergency lighting, backyard lighting, street lighting, traffic signal lighting and pavement lighting. These applications are effectively facilitated by solar lighting kits because of the stand-alone nature of these kits.
Basic components of a solar lighting kit
In general, a solar lighting kit comprises a solar panel, rechargeable battery, charge controller unit, inverter and cables. The specifications of the kit could change depending on the type of applications and the number of lamps to be powered. For instance, two solar panels could be used to light up two single bulbs of smaller wattage or one bulb of larger wattage.
Solar panels comprise photovoltaic (PV) cells which have the capability to absorb sunlight and convert it into electric power through the PV effect which can be used to light up electric bulbs.
Home solar lighting using a solar lighting kit is convenient because of its simplicity. A single lamp home solar lighting kit available in India typically comprises a solar panel producing 10 W of power, a 7 Ah battery, a 6 amp solar charge controller and a 5 W bulb. This system harnesses solar energy during the day and can run for the whole night.
Solar lighting kits are especially useful in street lighting because of its ability to serve as a stand-alone solar light resource. The components of solar lighting kits used for street lighting include solar panel, LED bulb, charge controller, rechargeable battery and pole. The specifications of the components can vary depending on the usage. For instance, in an efficient solar street lighting system to light up a 20 W LED lamp, a solar panel of 60 W and an 80 Ah battery are required.
Solar lighting kits are perfectly suitable for traffic lights as they are also stand-alone systems. Here too, the kit comprises a solar panel, LED bulbs, charge controller, rechargeable battery and pole. In these systems no inverter is required as the DC power generated by the solar panel can be directly used to power LED bulbs used in traffic lights.
Portable lighting kits
Solar lighting kits are extremely useful as emergency lights or portable lights. A portable solar lighting system is charged using solar energy and can be used as an emergency light whenever required. These lights can also be used during outdoor activities such as picnics, camping, etc. Typically, these kits provide power output in the range of 3 – 10 W and have a rechargeable battery.
A solar lighting kit is versatile as it can be used in several applications that cover indoor and outdoor use, domestic and commercial use, emergency use and standby use.