Sun and wind power a street light

Sun and wind power a street light

In our series “In Action," the opportunities and benefits of personal wind turbines are shared through customer testimonials and regional case studies.

The first solar and wind powered streetlight in Texas was recently installed in Grand Prairie.

"Fort Hood has a wind and sun powered light pole, but to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a city in Texas has installed such a pole," said Public Works Director Ron McCuller. "If it does as well as it has in other states, we’ll be able to use this technology in targeted areas throughout town where the cost of extending power to a site might be cost-prohibitive. We are excited to see how this test light does."

Solar Wind Technologies, LLC configured the system using solar panels, a small wind turbine, batteries and a special lamp, all mounted to a standard light pole. The solar panel uses the light from the sun converting it into energy stored in a battery, which provides power for the streetlight at night. For backup energy, the light pole also has a small wind turbine mounted at the top of the pole, which creates and stores power in the battery as it turns in the wind. If the battery is full, the turbine doesn’t turn.

"This is a great application for the city," said Mike Correale, of Solar Wind Technologies, LLC. "With a solar and wind hybrid system, we can extract energy from the sun or the wind, both of which are prominent here in North Texas, generating clean, green energy."

"Not only can this save on our electrical installation and monthly service costs, it also eliminates the possibility of copper thefts from these poles," said McCuller. "We really see these solar/wind poles having great potential in remote parts of our parks, especially in areas that are hard to get electricity to and possibly as replacements for light poles frequently hit with copper thefts."

The cost of the solar/wind power system saves around $400 per year, per pole, since the light pole does not use electricity. Additionally, when the power is out, the light will still be on at night.

"This is a clean technology we will definitely consider in future applications," said McCuller.

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