There are many reasons why switching to solar powered lighting towers makes sense, although the option may not yet be ideal for everyone. In this blog, we outline the considerations to make before choosing to invest.
Benefits of solar powered events lighting
Companies making the switch to solar powered events lighting will notice immediate budget savings. Well-designed solar lighting towers have zero fuel costs - a particularly welcome feature considering the April 2022 diesel tax – and are not vulnerable to energy price hikes. Solar rigs are also silent, overcoming the noise emission problems of engine powered solutions. Their zero-emission status also helps companies to meet their energy targets, as well as satisfying consumer demand for cleaner lighting solutions. With no wires or mains connection, solar power is also incredibly safe to use, making it a particularly attractive option for outdoor venues.
Switching To Solar
The battery is central to the efficiency of the system. Therefore, unlike fuel-based technologies, human interaction is required to achieve the best results. The lack of engine means physical maintenance of solar lighting towers is easier than diesel driven alternatives, but on a day-to-day basis care needs to be taken to ensure that the rig has a charging cycle that prevents battery drainage, that batteries are kept clean and dry, and that connecting parts such as diodes are free from corrosion. As such, companies need to think carefully about issues such as storage and maintenance schedules. In the case of events management, this means planning in advance to make sure the solar lighting towers are fully charged, as well as long-term planning to replace batteries over time.
Care of AGM Batteries
Most of the Batteries used on the Trime range of Solar and Solar Hybrid lighting units are AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) Batteries. These Batteries are Sealed, Maintenance free, Deep Cycle Batteries particularly suited for delivering power over a longer period of time rather than in short burst like a starter Battery. Although they are Maintenance Free there are some simple tips that will make the most of the power available and elongate the life span of the Battery.
- At regular intervals and at least one a year the Battery cover should be removed from the top of the AGM Batteries and all connections across the top of the Batteries should be cleaned and check for tightness. Most often battery problems are caused by loose or dirty connections.
- Battery retaining clamps and brackets should be checked that they are tight at regular intervals and at least once every year.
- Always recharge the Batteries as soon as possible after fully discharging them, this will happen automatically if the control system is left to monitor the Batteries in Auto mode on Hybrid or Solar Hybrid units or a Battery unit is plugged in to a power supply when it is returned from hire.
- Batteries should not be left in a discharged state for any longer than necessary, fully charged Batteries will have a longer life than Batteries that are left in a discharged or semi discharged state.
- If a machine is returned with low batteries after a hire, the Batteries should be allowed to fully recharge before the unit is placed in storage before the next hire.
- If a Solar Hybrid powered lighting tower is not going to be used again for an extended period the unit should be cycled at least once every two months, to do this the LED Lamps should be switched on to drain the Batteries and then once drained to their lower limit they should be fully recharged again, this will help prevent the Battery Sulphating and eventually loosing storage capacity, shortening the life of the AGM Battery.
Solar lighting equipment costs
Currently, solar powered lighting systems are more expensive than their engine powered or mains-connected counterparts. This cost reflects the manufacturing price of high-quality solar
panels as well as reliable batteries, and supports further innovations in the industry. However,
as the systems are completely free to run, events providers can easily recoup the cost over
time. Additionally, as consumers are willing to pay extra for sustainable solutions, some of
the cost of investment can be immediately passed on. For a specific price breakdown, the team at Trime can help.