The design is made as a standalone solution, and so applicable on locations where no centralized network is near. Costs for wiring and exploitation of energy can be eliminated. If there is a strong desire to connect the products to the electricity grid, they can be provided with convertors and without battery system. Take into account that there will be a loss of energy due to conversion.
Are SPIRIT products standalone only, or is it possible to connect it to the centralized energy facilities?
The configuration of the SPIRIT solar powered lighting products will be defined based on a calculation (see work approach). The power of the luminaire is derived from the calculation, based on the location/sun irradiation. The amount of solar panels and the battery capacity is determined based on that information. The closer to the equator, the better the balance will be in energy generation by solar panels during daytime and use by the LED during night. The back-up battery capacity can be determined as a requirement – generally between 2 and 3 days. Thus the illumination can be guaranteed, also on dark and cloudy days. The intelligent control unit can even decide that the power of illumination should be shifted down/dimmed, based on the available battery capacity.
The accus, or batteries, of all SPIRIT products are placed in-ground. This design concerns the temperature during daytime in locations near the equator, which can rise above 35 degrees Celsius. By placing the battery in-ground in the steel foundation, the temperature variation is extremely reduced.
The lifetime of any battery, and the amount of loading/unloading cycli, depends on the use and the environmental temperature. At normal use, we guarantee 5 years – however, we expect at least 7 years or longer. The exchange of batteries, which are situated in the in-ground foundation box, is easily executed by the smart design.
The maintenance repetition and the degree of difficulty is limited. Due to the vertical position, the extend of adhesive dirt is reduced. Cleaning is in regular circumstances not necessary – in some locations cleaning at most once in three years is advised. The constructions does not need maintenance, as well as the AMMANU LED luminaires. These are designed for a life expectancy of 15 year. After failure, and this applies for the control unit also, replacement is needed. We advise to check the battery once in three years for its status. The status can be consulted by a login in with your mobile device at the site of the SPIRIT product.
Is it possible to connect the product to the centralized electricity network to transfer solar energy to the grid?
Yes. Technically, transferring the energy generated during daytime to the centralized electricity grid (net metering) is possible. One of the most expensive elements (the battery) can be eliminated.
Nota bene: Authorities or energy companies might have policies regarding this issue – for example: in Germany this is not permitted. At long term, we expect that policies will be aligned and will not allow net metering.
The SPIRIT products can be remotely controlled, however with short range wireless communication. Due to the risk of hacking and the extensive use of energy, we chose for this technology over long range communication, like WiFi. In our opinion, this is the most energy efficient and solid solution. If urgently desired, an extra module can be integrated so remote controlling over long distance is possible.
No. A combination of both technologies is a high risk in causing problems. Because we are in for a high quality and solid product, we won’t integrate a wind turbine, which is mostly full of – in sandy environments very sensitive – mechanical parts. Besides, the dimensions of the wind turbine should be quite large to generate a sufficient amount of energy. Also, the control unit should be suitable for controlling both systems. For reasons above, we’d like to discourage you to consider a combination of technologies.
Considering the complexity of the system and the needed high tech machinery, producing locally is not possible. Though, under certain conditions assembling imported compartments is a possibility. The design of an assembly plant, with a concise logistic outline, is key, as well as training the assembly employees. An outline of a concept facility, including the needed equipment, is available on request. At the start of the assembly plant, we offer education and training. During assembling we designate a local supervisor to support the plant for a predefined period. This possibility offers local authorities to impulse the local economy and provide employment and develop competences for locals. However, we recommend to purchase complete products and instruct employees to install and maintain properly.
The intelligent control unit measures the battery capacity frequently. If the battery seems low on energy, a dimming protocol will be activated. The reason of this lack of energy might be a failure of energy generation (solar panels), a failure of the battery (or degradation overtime) or a low degree of sun irradiation. The first mentioned reasons can be signalled during maintenance.
The SPIRIT products are equipped with GPS, so when connected to the energy source, the intelligence unit is aware of the location and date and so on the sunset and sunrise. The luminaire is reacting regarding that information.
Prices vary as the configurations vary. Configuration depends on the requirements (see work approach) – for example due to back up battery capacity, sun irradiation or type of luminaire. Prices are not comparable to the inexpensive versions, for example a non-integrated solar panel on top of a regular lighting mast.
For most of the SPIRIT products you don’t need a separate foundation – it is integrated and part of the battery box. The foundation, or battery box, is a smart design from steel, which keeps the battery from warming up.
If the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions are incomplete, please feel free to send us a message. We are more than happy to answer your queries and questions.