Electric vehicles are paving their way into the consumer market, albeit a little slow owing to the lack of charging stations. However, this might soon change with researchers looking to develop and leverage solar street lamps to double up charging stations for electric vehicles. However, solar street… (Featured image is for representational purpose and has been sourced from https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/6360113457)
Electric vehicles are paving their way into the consumer market, albeit a little slow owing to the lack of charging stations. However, this might soon change with researchers looking to develop and leverage solar street lamps to double up charging stations for electric vehicles.
However, solar street lamps function only from dusk to dawn. This means that the power generated by the photovoltaic cells during the day is simply stored, awaiting its use during night. Since these street lamps are readily available infrastructure, the cost of converting them into charging stations for electric vehicles seems a logical step forward.
Street lamps are often sleek in design, making them easy to install compared to bulkier charging stations; and this at a fraction of the cost otherwise spent on establishing regular charging units for electric vehicles. Besides, street lamps are more rugged, sturdy and tamper resistant than charging pods. Their accessibility at parking areas, bus stands and other recreational areas allows them to accommodate multiple vehicles for charging.
A WIPO patent application WO2012142695, filed by individual inventor Thomas Patrick Bryson, describes an interesting methodology for streetlights to double up as charging pods for electric vehicles. In his application, Bryson describes the use of a leaf-shaped solar powered LED streetlight that generates 2.8 KW of power. It consists of a renewable electricity generating device such as a wind-energy device, a solar-energy device, and a hybrid wind-solar energy device. It also comprises a dual head charging system for charging electric vehicles.
Wuhan Rixin technology of China has also filed a similar patent publication CN204943300. This patent discloses an integrated solar street lamp that can be leveraged for charging vehicles. The system comprises a street lamp, a rechargeable battery, a solar panel, an intelligent control section, a display screen and a swipe card settlement module. The solar panel generates ample energy to illuminate streets and charge electric vehicles.
With many countries across the world looking to encourage the use of electric vehicles out of environment concerns, inventions such as these may soon translate to reality.