Trojan Battery Company, based in the USA, is the world’s leading manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, offering a complete portfolio of deep-cycle flooded AGM and gel batteries that provide maximum long-lasting performance to meet the requirements of today’s advanced renewable energy and backup power systems.
Wadi Sidr is one of the most remote areas in the Fujairah province of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its rocky and mountainous terrain has kept high-capacity electric lines from reaching this region. Driving on these mountainous roads at night with no lights can be treacherous.
The installation of solar street lights improves safety conditions, visibility at night and brings lighting to homes in the area that are situated along the road.
In August 2011, a solar street lighting project was installed along 11.8km in Wadi Sidr. Companies Hydroturf International LLC and Incon designed and installed 404 stand-alone photovoltaic, pole-mounted street lights. Hydroturf supplied 808 Trojan deep-cycle batteries for the project and assisted with the system design.
Each solar street light system consists of one 245W polycrystalline PV module, one 160W LED light, a charge controller and two Trojan deep-cycle 8D VRLA batteries. Trojan batteries were chosen due to their reputation for high-quality and durability.
In addition, Hydroturf’s technical assistance, knowledge of renewable energy applications, and a wide range of Trojan batteries in stock also contributed to the selection of Trojan batteries for this project. Trojan’s deep-cycle VRLA batteries are maintenance-free and deliver superior energy in demanding renewable energy applications.
The solar street light systems include a state-of-the art monitoring system which allows the lights to be monitored from a mobile phone. The OEC monitoring system uses software to control the brightness and timing of the lights from anywhere in the UAE.
The installation in the mountainous area of Fujairah presented several challenges. Digging through the rocks in the ground was a laborious process and ambient temperature reached more than 50ºC in August. Establishing the optimal angle for the tilt of solar panels among the mountains was complex, and transporting the light poles and other heavy equipment on the interior mountain roads was very challenging.
The successful Wadi Sidr project demonstrates how solar street lighting in a remote area can be used in similar road projects where conventional grid electricity is too costly and the significant cost savings of operating solar street lights compared to the high cost of conventional electricity. While there were no government incentives for this project, the UAE Government is working on a plan to implement subsidies for renewable energy strategies, which would make applications like this one even more affordable.
The solar street lighting project drastically improved safety conditions on these roads in Wadi Sidr. The installation of the street lights not only improved visibility at night, but it also brought area lighting to more than 800 homes that are situated along the road.