Street Lighting is an important service that helps to contribute to safety and security of the public, businesses, and residential spaces. Street lights also aide in crime prevention and recreational activities. Over the years, this service has significantly contributed to the energy consumption from the utility at a considerable cost.
In keeping with its mandate to develop and encourage the development and utilisation of sources of energy, other than sources presently in use; and to carry out research into all sources of energy, GEA has explored the opportunities for using wind energy as an alternative to conventional street lighting powered by electricity from the public utility.
GEA’s engineers designed the Wind-Powered Street Light and with the assistance of the Traffic and Highway Light Unit, installed one stand-alone wind-powered street light on the Georgetown Sea Wall East of Camp Street behind the Ministry of Education Sports Ground. The light utilizes a wind turbine and generator which harnesses the energy from the wind and converts it into electricity.
The stand-alone wind powered street light consists of a 500W wind turbine, 40W LED lamp, 105Ah battery, hybrid charge controller, timer, enclosure and mounts. This, the first unit installed by the GEA, cost G$247,553. The estimated simple payback for the stand-alone wind-powered street light is about 4 years.
Wind-powered LED street lamps with battery support have a major advantage in that they are not affected by utility failure and operate at low voltages hence making them cost effective.
GEA will continue to monitor, research and record the performance of wind-powered street lighting. The information obtained from data gathering and experience gained from the installation process will be used to guide decisions with regards to street lighting.
Converting the existing inefficient High Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamps (HPSV) street lights to Wind-Powered LED Lamps will incur a capital cost; however this can be recouped from the monthly payments which otherwise would have been paid to the electric utility over the lifetime of the lights.
Apart from monetary savings there are many additional advantages associated with the use of this type of street lighting. Given that it utilises wind energy, the power generated is continuously available. Additionally, because they use wind energy, which is renewable and sustainable, standalone wind-based street lighting is environmentally desirable. Another major advantage is that the LED lamp provides a truer colour representation, more depth of field, and greater peripheral vision, which improves safety for drivers and pedestrians.
The abundance of wind along Guyana’s coast, makes wind-powered street lighting a very attractive alternative to street lighting powered by electricity from the public utility. The LED lamps also have an estimated lifetime that is five times longer than conventional HPSV lamps and energy savings of 80% or more.
Through the use of a stand-alone wind-powered street lighting and the use of energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lamps, it is possible to reduce the cost currently incurred by street lights.
GEA encourages all Municipalities, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and civic groups to observe this pilot lamp as street lighting falls within the mandate of the “owner” of the streets. The Ministry of Works and Communication is responsible for any lighting of the National main roads whilst Local Government organs are responsible for any lighting of local roads and streets