DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A SOLAR OPERATED AUTOMATIC STREET LIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM
The importance of light to every mankind cannot be over emphasized, even when the earth was created; the earth was illuminated with light which makes it a place of living. This means, without light, the whole world is in darkness and as a result of this, living things be it plants, animals or human beings cannot exist.
When talking about lighting, it comes from two different sources, which could be natural or electrical. The former comes from the Creator (God) while the latter is a result of our natural resources being utilized effectively by human beings. Since there is need for lighting, electric energy generation is employed to solve the problems people are facing during the day, especially at night when there is total darkness everywhere.
Since the invention of electrical energy for lighting, it is quite obvious that it requires human intervention to control the switch either off when not in use or ONM when the need arises. Due to this factor and poor supply of electricity, we have been able to find and alternative way of generating electricity for the purpose of illumination which is highly efficient and effective through the energy from the sun known as solar energy.
This involves the use of a module called solar panel, which receive the energy from the sun and convert it to electricity.
Basically, this project focused on the design and construction of a solar operated automatic streetlight. This is a commercial quality light that can easily illuminate the streets and other areas of choice giving the potential of many years of trustworthy use with a minimum of maintenance required.
The four major components needed to build construct a solar powered streetlight are: The solar panel, high efficiency d.c. Temperature, charge controller and a battery.
The solar panel has its major task to convert the sun’s energy into electricity, precisely D.C voltage. The basic circuitry on solar powered streetlights consists essentially of a automatic battery charger, fed by the solar panel and a lighting controller automated for dusk to down operation.
The charge controller projects the battery from over-charging, maximizes the charging voltage and current output of the solar panel.
To achieve the automatic operation of the streetlight, a photocell or a time, which senses the period of darkness and lightness, is used to trigger.
The type of battery employed here is a maintenance free one, which is capable of supplying few days of back up power in case of bad weather or charger failure. Also the lamp used in this project work is a D.C operated lamp.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This project is carried out so as to provide an alternative means of generating electricity through sunlight for lighting purpose.
Also, the effective utilization of natural resources (sunlight) is ensured by the design of this project.
The components required in carrying out this project which are solar panel, battery charge controller, bulb are efficient enough to yeild the desired result without the use of power converter.
Therefore, the use of Direct Current (D.C) operated lamp are employed, specifically, LED (Light Emitting Diodes).
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives of this project are:
To power up a street lighting system through solar energy.
To protect the solar battery from quick deterioration as a result of continuous day and night working.
To control a solar powered streetlight automatically.
To utilize the naturally endowed resource (sun).
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This project design is centered on solar energy as fast growing technology for street lighting with the use of a solar module. The automatic control process of the light can be achieved by a photocell. Or a timer which eliminates human intervention for manual switching or control/
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the design and construction of solar operated Automatic Street light cannot be overemphasized in the sense that it is financially viable particularly in areas where the cost of providing a main supply is prohibitive. It has the capability of illuminating large surface area of land due to high efficiency of the lamp used. Also, it does not require human intervention to control its operation and finally, power outages have no impact whatsoever on it.
In the process of searching for information on this project, relevant textbooks, journals and related past project reports in the library were consulted. Also, several visits to relevant web sites on the Internet cannot be overloaded.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Every project’s have its limitation. The major limitation of this project is that sunlight used to generate the electricity is not readily available especially at winter period.
As a result, the streetlight requires the need for a large battery to use in order to provide at least three days of stand by operation during cloudy weather without discharging the battery below its safe operating limit.