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Solar Lighting is changing lives in Rural India

Approximately 500 million people in India’s countryside still have no access to electricity. The government’s ambitious plan to electrify the entire nation by 2012 is based, in large part, on providing rural homes (particularly some 25,000 of the remotest villages) with decentralized renewable energy systems.

New Delhi, June 29, 2011 – Depending on the size, a Solar Home Lighting System can operate one or several lights. Normally a Solar Home Lighting System will have a 12-volt direct-current (DC) stand-alone system which uses PV to electrify small rural homes. Each SHS comes along with a PV module (also called Panel), a battery, a charge controller, wiring, fluorescent CFL lights, and outlets for other appliances. A typical design component is shown below:


Solar modules for an Solar Home Lighting System would range between 20-50 Wp. They are mounted on a rooftop or atop a pole. The technology of this could be either crystalline or thin-film technology12 (also called amorphous).

An electro-chemical storage battery is used to store the electricity converted by the solar module. During the day, electricity from the module charges the storage battery. During the evening, the battery is discharged to power the lights and other applications. Batteries are typically the 12-volt lead-acid batteries, ranging in capacity from 5-75 Amp-Hours (Ah). Batteries are typically sized to provide several days of electricity or ‘autonomy’, in the event of overcast weather preventing recharging.

Charge controller
A charge controller is utilized to control the flow of electricity between the module, the battery and the loads. It prevents battery damage by ensuring that the battery is operating within its normal charge levels. If the charge level in the battery falls below a certain level, a ‘low voltage disconnect’ (LVD) will cut the current to the loads, to prevent further discharge. Likewise, it will also cut the current from the module in case of overcharging. Of course, some systems do not have this facility. Those which do not have the automatic charge controller would use indicator lights on the controller to display the relative state of charge of the battery. This is seen in most of the models available in the market. This device is important as once overused, it takes a long time for the battery to get charged. In rural areas, where literacy levels are relatively lower, the presence of this device built into the system help prevent overuse of the battery, thereby increasing the life of the system.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent tube (off late) are used for lighting. A Solar Home Lighting System normally would have anything between two-light systems to a four-light system. A 9 watt CFL provides illumination equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb. These compact fluorescent lights have a 5-year lifetime.

Wiring & Mounting devices
A Solar Home Lighting System will also have additional materials for mounting and connections. Metal frames are included to attach the PV Modules to a pole or roof. The SHS components are connected by wires and contain switches for the lights. In some cases, wiring is housed inside conduits attached to interior walls.

Headway Solar is a Solar Energy company based in India. It provides a complete range of solar products and offer customized solar solutions. It is pioneering Solar Energy Solutions in India and provide a complete range of Solar Energy Products and customized solar solutions for enterprises, institutions and personal use.

Solar Home Lighting Systems launched by Headway Solar are different from any similar products available in the market. The products have been designed using software simulation and are based completely on Plug-and-Use model. They do not require an expert to install or repair. All the wiring and equipment provided are pre-fitted with interlocking sockets and optimum wire lengths to make the installation and use as simple as it can get.

Headway Solar is looking to set up a distribution network for its range of Solar Home Lighting Products. Distributors with strong rural market in their respective districts can contact Headway Solar to establish a business relation that can bring light to the masses of India.

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100 Watt’ LED Bulbs Lighting Up

‘100 Watt’ LED Bulbs Lighting Up

May 18, 2011 — First there was the incandescent bulb. Then came the compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. Now, light-emitting diodes — the tiny bulbs already used in automobile headlights and tailights — are available for use in household and office lighting.

Osram Sylvania, based in Danvers, Mass., and Switch Lighting, based in San Jose, Calif., have both announced that they have an LED bulb that’s as bright as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, but consumes just 14 watts of energy. This is huge news for anyone looking to save money on their utility bills. Where a CFL bulb provides three to four times the energy savings of an incandescent bulb, LEDs offer 10 times the savings of a CFL and last 25 times longer. In fact, they have an operational life of 100,000 hours, or 11 years of continuous operation. LEDs produce less heat and do not contain trace amounts of toxins, such as CFLs.

The cost of LED bulbs is still much higher than CFLs. Those coming to market from both Osram Sylvania and Switch Lighting (as well as Philips, who has a bulb that’s about as bright as a 75-watt incandescent bulb) cost between $40 and $50, while CFLs cost under $5 each. But as more manufacturers get into the act, the costs should come down. This kind of bulb could be extremely attractive to large office buildings, where electricity and the cost to maintain it (that is, changing thousands of light bulbs) can cut deeply into an owner’s pocket.

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