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Migration of existing LED Street Light to Automated Solar LED Street Lighting System of the

University of Santo Tomas

Presented to the Faculty of Engineering

Electrical Engineering Department

In partial fulfilment of the requirements for EE424

Submitted by:

Angeles, Ramius

Gonzales, Kim Angelo

Monteagudo, Lawrence

Pajarillo, Charles William



This chapter consist of the Background of the study, Statement of the problem, Purpose
of the study, Significance of the study, Limitations, and Definitions of term.

1.1 Background of the Study

Fossil fuels used for generating electricity are slowly depreciating. One of the main
resources of energy is coal and the use of coal has its own bad effects. Although most fossil
fuels are decreasing in supply, other resources for generating electricity are still available. Many
countries have started to conserve electricity with the use of renewable energy. Companies and
organizations have invested in this type of renewable energy in order for them to cut costs.
Conserving energy does not necessarily rely on the use of renewable sources but also relies on
the materials used on the load and how the load operates. There are many examples of devices
that use electricity for a long period of time. An example of energy consuming device is street

Street lamps are used to light roads and were first used in the year 1875 with the design
of an arc lamp. The disadvantage of arc lamp is that it emits unpleasant light that brings
discomfort to people. Incandescent bulbs were introduced few years later after the arc lamp
came out. The first city that had the privilege to use the incandescent bulbs was Newcastle.
Incandescent bulbs also have disadvantages such as it is energy inefficient and has short life
time. In order to remove these disadvantages, LED was invented.

Energy efficiency provides benefits for many consumers and manufacturers, one of
which is conserving power for future preferences. The usage of renewable energies helps
generation companies to compensate from consumers. In this study the type of renewable
energy technology used are solar panels, where it is most likely to be used for LED street
lightings. The migration of the University’s street lighting from the traditional street lights to an
automated solar powered LED street lights will help increase its efficiency with reference to its
time of usage and natural behavior/ weather conditions inside the campus. LED street light
designs at the present time are very sustainable and low maintenance compared to the
traditional street lighting where usually bulbs are replaced in a short span of time where LED
lights lasts longer (50,000 hours of usage). LED street lights usually operate on low
temperatures but high output of illumination because traditionally street lights operate at least
12 hours per day considering the thermal capacity of the materials used where it is efficient to
use especially on campus grounds where light illumination is poor during night time.

Some street light technologies used in the campus are already LEDs but many parts still
use the traditional incandescent bulb that uses more electricity than LEDs. Consumers rely on
price of such technologies but engineering wise, the sustainability that this technology transmit
actually makes it less costly for consumers due to its long life span and the quality of
illumination it can give. Solar lighting technology are still not that widely used nowadays but
upon observation, many areas in metro manila specially road lightings and park lightings are
starting to use solar paneled LED street lights due to its low cost maintenance and
sustainability. Solar LED lights are independent from the grid outside the campus which
decreases the amount of external wires minimizing accidents for the campus’ population. A
research was previously conducted on how automated LED light would be able to save cost
compared to traditional street lights. This research would combine automated led light to solar
power to conserve more electricity.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study aims to design and build a system which is fit for the University Campus that
would provide stable and efficient street lighting from renewable source

1. How many Hours will a solar street light last? Will it cover at least (6pm-5am) 12 to 13 hours?
2. Is there a need for hybrid design?
3. Will there be a need to move solar panel from time to time?
4. Is there a need to maintain such street lamp design? If Yes, what Kind?
5. How costly will such street lights be compared to traditional street lights? Is it engineering
economy wise?
6. How long will it take for the LED to burnout?
Considering the long hours of operation, the street lamps would be using an LED system
which provide longer time of operation compared to fluorescent and incandescent lamps. LEDs
have the characteristic to operate on long periods of time without dealing too much on
temperature problems.Battery would play an important role in order to fully maximize the
operating hours of a LED street light. What type of battery is needed for the street light to work
for more than 11 hours?

There are many available designs for solar panel system operation. Simple solar panels
can charge up to a day and others can charge up for more than 3 days with minimum sunlight.
Worst case scenario would be no sunlight for more than 3 days. What design would be helpful
in times when the batteries are fully drained?

Solar panels need direct sunlight for maximum efficiency and power storage, however,
Some areas around the UST campus are shaded by trees and nearby residential towers and
condominiums. Considering the efficiency of the system, solar panels for each lamp must be
placed where direct sunlight hits the panels long enough to charge its batteries, but in some
areas the need for sunlight is unattainable at all times. Will there be a need to move the panels
from time to time?

LEDs and solar panel systems operate efficiently depending also on the maintenance it
gets. LEDs are known for its life span and low maintenance but somehow, these types of system
must be maintained from time to time. Solar panels operate in such a way it receives more
illumination from the sun, these panels are often exposed to the city’s environment which
makes the panels operate less efficiently. What kind of operations do such systems need to
attain maximum efficiency?

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The study aims to help the university to cut cost by using renewable sources in one of
many applications inside the campus. This will also provide convenience to the University in
operating street lights when automation is applied. In applying this research to the UNSDG, this
would resolve the problems regarding affordable clean energy and responsible consumption of

1.4 Significance of the Study

This research would contribute to lessening the usage of fossil fuels and would be
economically friendly. Using fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases that deteriorate the
atmosphere and contribute to global warming. The application of solar energy would minimize
the use of fossil fuels, making it not harmful to the environment. The application of solar energy
would be a vital improvement to a street light not relying on free energy and would not rely
heavily on electrical firms like Meralco, etc.

With parts of the world experiencing energy crisis, it is important to conserve energy at
all cost. Utilizing naturally occurring renewable source on a small scale would help to improve
the economy by applying this research on a large scale. The University of Santo Tomas have
streetlights inside the campus but are not powered by solar energy. Applying solar energy to
the street lights would not only benefit the university but also power companies to conserve

1.5 Scope and Limitations

This paper will only focus on the efficiency of solar street lights. . It will only be
concerned on how the battery, the LED, automation, and the solar panel affect each other in
providing optimum street lighting. With regards to automation, the topic is limited to time
based automation and sensors to react when the surrounding reach a specific darkness to light
up the street light.
1.6 Theoretical Framework

Battery Load

1.7 Conceptual Framework

Battery Automation Sensor LED

1.8 Definition of Terms

Fossil Fuels - A fuel(such as coal, oil, or natural gas) formed in the earth from plant or animal

LED – Light Emitting Diode

Incandescent bulbs – Light containing a filament that glows white-hot when heated by a
current passed through it.

Illumination - lighting or lighting effects

Solar Energy – operated by the action of the sun’s light or heat solar energy

Solar Cells – A photovoltaic cell used as a power source


Review of Related Literatures

This chapter consists of studies that were published that would serve as a reference for
the research.

2.1 Solar Energy

Solar energy receives its energy from sunlight which then will be stored to a battery for
further use. Solar energy that would be received would go through a dc-dc converter that
would amplify the received energy that will be the stored to a battery. The disadvantage of
solar energy is its limited time to receive energy each day. Most of the time, solar panels have
its own power converter that would be directly used for the load.

2.2 Street Lights

Street lights are essential for any city to provide visibility at night and for safety
purposes. Street lights are expensive and are managed by the government. The lights are
manually operated that are turned on and off at a certain time. A fall back for manually
operated street lights is the time delay to switch off these lights when the sun is up. Delay in
turning off street lamps would cause unnecessary expenses.

Street lights uses different kinds of bulb. These bulbs are fluorescent, HID, and LED
lamp. Fluorescent lamps light up from the gas travelling through cathode. This type of lamp
almost has the same lifespan of an incandescent lamp. HID or High Intensity Discharge lamp are
energy efficient but its fall back is the unpleasant light that it emits. This type of bulb warms up
before it normally operate. HID application are mostly used outdoors. LEDs is a diode that emits
light when its diode is active. The application for LED can be used indoors and outdoors.

2.3 LED

LED or Light-emitting diodes have been recognized as one of the most important
innovation today . LEDs are known for its long life span, economically and energy efficient, and
high output power. Applications of LED are present for indoors and outdoors. Electronic devices
is where LED was first used and soon used for lighting purposes. Most incandescent and
fluorescent bulbs are being replaced by LEDs.
The main components for LED illumination usually are made up of 4 parts. First
component that supplies electric power to the LED chips are called LED ballast. LED chips emits
light using the power received from the ballast. Lenses or the lamp cover allows light to scatter
in different directions. Heatsink dissolves heat generated from the ballast and other parts of the

2.4 Economic Feasibility of solar powered LED Roadway Lighting

One group of researchers designed an LED roadway lighting system. Their study focuses
on the design and installation of a solar powered LED roadway lighting with an LED luminaire
rated 100 watts. It is verified that the energy saved when using LED lamps is about 75%
compared to using mercury lamps that are commonly used in lighting roads. The researchers
also checked the systems reliability, heat dissipation, and optical decay. It is said that LED
lighting systems dissipate heat but it is taken care off by using a low cost heat dissipation device
(loop heat pipe, LHP), LHP turned the LED to a fan-less LED lighting. The LED fixture can last for
about a decade. The light source’s optical efficacy of about the same of the mercury lamps,
around 70 lm/W, but its light directedness effectively makes the output light to hit the surface.
In their field test, more than 85% light from LED lamps hits the surface.

The group also compared the cost of LED using grid power versus the cost of solar
powered LED cost. The cost of standalone solar powered LEDs reduced transmission line cost.
Both are feasible and a good investment because payback time for LED using grid power is 2.2
years and 3.3 years for the solar powered LED. The results show that solar powered LEDs are
economically efficient.

2.5 Outdoor Lighting Technologies for energy efficiency

Street lighting accounts for most of the outdoor lighting use, and nowadays the market
for these technologies are continuously rising. In context with increasing energy hikes street
lighting design must be engineering wise and economical. LED lights have become the most
used option instead of the conventional incandescent bulbs, for its unique technological
system, LEDs can be controlled digitally, highly efficient, and has a low cost. With this study’s
automation low energy consumption can be obtained.

One of the most functional light system and designs for the environment are outdoor
lighting. It enables people for convenient access to some streets and outdoor places. The
market still aims to develop more efficient technologies for outdoor lighting, making the
availability for many consumers.
In the present time modern outdoor lighting systems are built from complex designs
such as the Solar powered automated LED street light designs in this study. Energy efficiency
depends on how the outdoor lighting is installed or what components are used depending on
the specifications of the product. Energy-efficient performance outdoor lighting systems must
be equipped on streets to increase energy saving. Automated Outdoor lighting system control
aims to be a crucial part of the solution for energy efficiency.


This chapter discusses the methods and units that will be used to conduct the project
and techniques on how the researchers will approach this study.

Quantitative Approach will be used in the study since the researchers will need data to
prove that the streetlight is efficient or not. Data that have been gathered will be analysed
thoroughly before coming up a conclusion for what streetlight design is better suited for the
university to solve the problem of conserving energy. Street lights inside UST are already using
LED. In order to improve the existing street lights, the research design would apply solar panels
and will have automation with regards to controlling the operating time.

A certain number streetlights will be placed on the pavements of the university for
testing. It will be placed in the locations within Roque Ruaño drive where the sun’s light hits the
most. The testing site was chosen because it is accessible for the researchers. Spots that will be
chosen for the placement of the streetlights will be based on observations of the researcher.

Research Instruments
To measure for the voltage generated by the solar panel and current entering the
system, it is advised to use a multimeter. Lumen Meters for measuring light output and Meters
for measuring light distances and spacing for each light post.

Data Analysis

In analysing the future data gathered, the existing design will be studied and will be
compared to the proposed design. The data of the research design will be measured using
research instruments that will be analysed for data comparison. It will then be compared to the
previous design to prove that the research is more efficient. If statistically the proposed design
is said to be inefficient another approach will be conducted by adjusting the location of the
solar panels.

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