Palm tree solar street lights are one of the most interesting variations of street lighting structures that has entered the market recently.
What exactly are they? Do they simply look like a palm tree, hence the name? What are their merits and not-so-good points? We will cover all your questions surrounding these lights in the content below. Keep reading!
What are palm tree solar street lights?
In the first place, palm tree solar street lights do not have a fancy palm tree-esque design as you imagined. But they do have something in common with palm trees.
The concept of palm tree lights is based on a fascinating legend of the walking palm. Dating back centuries to the ancient forests in South America, stories claim that these massive palms are capable of autonomously relocating themselves to areas with abundant sunlight.
Although solar street lights cannot move by themselves like these palms, these lights commit to the same intention: capture as much sunlight as possible.
The design of palm tree street lights
Palm tree solar street lights are actually a variation of the prevalent all-in-one lights. All major components, including the LED lighting module, solar panel and solar battery, are combined into one single unit via a housing. But the most significant difference and feature is the design of their integrated solar panel.
Most panels on all-in-one street lights are fixed onto the top of the light housing without an option to move (let alone adjust). In comparison, the solar panel of palm tree street lights is empowered with the capability to be adjusted, with one short side connected to the housing via a hinge, while the opposite side can be either fixed onto the housing or lifted up to a certain height and secured to the light pole with accessories.
Palm tree solar street lights vs. Other solar street lights
For solar projects located in the Northern Hemisphere, the best solar panel positioning is with a direction facing true south and a tilt angle between 30 and 45 degrees.
Changing the direction of roads for the sake of absorbing more sunlight for the solar lights is merely impractical and ridiculous. However, being able to adjust the solar panel does make sense to maximize efficiency and lower costs involving equipment investment and maintenance.
On all-in-two and even the earliest split-style street lights, the solar panel is separated. So changing the positioning of the panel is feasible for optimizing light adsorption. But the downside is that these lights are in the old design, and such adjustments lead to aesthetic concerns.
You cannot adjust the panel on most all-in-one lights aside from modifying their light arms, which otherwise will alter their illumination.
Now the all-in-one palm tree solar street lights offer an option to tune the tilt angle of the panel within the plane perpendicular to the housing. Though the flexibility of angle adjustment falls behind the all-in-two and split-style lights discussed above, this novel option maintains the full integration concept, compact and elegant design of all-in-one lights while offering ample room for efficiency optimization.
Another merit of palm tree lights is that when the panel is elevated, there forms a space between the panel and the housing, which shows up somewhat alike to the effect of all-in-two and split lights. The space creates a ventilation channel and helps to cool down the temperature for both the panel and housing. Avoiding a high temperature can contribute to not only better efficiency for the panel (as every panel has a temperature coefficient) but extending the lifespan of the battery while lowering down the occurrence of thermal runaway.
Applications of palm tree street lights
All-in-one street lights continue to grow in popularity. They integrate the latest outcome in different segments of the industry.
Palm tree solar street lights can be used in various project types. The use of their panels is more flexible than that of other all-in-one lights. If a road runs east-west, applying palm tree lights for these projects can obtain the best panel efficiency and power output. Because the ideal direction of solar panels is true south (or true north if the project is in the Southern Hemisphere), and installers can lift and tune the movable side of the panel to achieve the optimal positioning.
Suppose the road runs in other directions and even with curves. In these cases, we can still confirm palm tree all-in-one lights are superior to other all-in-one products in terms of panel performance with identical panel electronic specs. But if efficiency and energy yield is your king metric to procure solar street light products, at least by far, you have to compromise on aesthetics as well as installation and maintenance issues and switch to traditional all-in-two or split street lights.
The emergence of new product variations fuels the adoption of solar street light technology. Choosing the right street light should factor into many elements; not one light fits all. All kinds of street lights bear their own ideal use cases. Whether palm tree solar street lights help to reap a better ROI should also be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.