Solar lighting by Novéa Designed to last

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much autonomy? In the case of a little sunny region, how many days can the lamppost work without sun?

A solar standalone lamp incorporates a battery that stores the energy accumulated during the day. This battery is dimensioned (unit in Wh, Watt hour) according to the need of lighting, and the number of days of desired autonomy without sun. By experience, Novéa offers a range of between 2 and 10 days autonomy depending on the geographical area. This autonomy allows to illuminate in the desired way, all the year. Concretly, is the lighting has to operate at 20 W during 6 hours every night, we size the battery of our solar lamppost to ensure this consumption (20W during 6 hours) during 5 nights (example for city of Denver, at the worst case of the year). This autonomy is clearly indicated in the energy studies that Novéa provides for each project.

Besides, the energy production that we calculate is averaged over the month. And our solar panel is sized to always provide more energy than the luminaire consumes (at least 25% more, to anticipate the loss of energy production of the solar panel over the time).

Therefore, thanks to this sizing, we ensure an optimal energy production according to the energy consumption of the luminaire.

In addition, in order to offer maximum autonomy, Novéa offers optimized lighting management (presence detection, lowering of power, time slots).

And if the days covered are prolonged and the battery reaches a critical level, Novéa has developed a calculation algorithm to reduce the power of lighting to increase the autonomy. But this algorithm is used only in case of climatic risks (period more critical than the meteorological calculation base taken into consideration in energy study), and must not be considered in the original sizing of the product.

What is battery lifetime?

The Novéa concept of Endurance + Technology batteries, developed for more than 7 years with the CEA of Grenoble, allows to announce a life of more than 20 years and to guarantee them 10 years on the temperate zones (France, DOM – TOM, for example).

This concept combines scientifically analyzed Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries with dedicated and patented electronic management. The perfect mastery of these essential components, offers the greatest durability of the market.

These batteries have been scientifically recognized as the most successful for the solar lighting market.

What maintenance is needed?

A solar streetlamp gets the same maintenance as a traditional public lighting furniture. The maintenance company does not need a specific electrical authorisation because our solar lampposts use safety voltages of 12 and 24 volts.

Our solar panel is tilted at 30° and equipped with an auto-cleaning glass (and tilted at 15° in tropical areas). You can make the most of luminaires cleaning to check its cleanliness. And it is not necessary to control the battery at a specific moment to evaluate its’ good operating.

Besides, so-called “heavy” maintenance is non-existent since :

  • The Endurance + battery will not change over the life of the product: service life over 20 years for temperate zones (DOM – TOM included).
  • Ragni LED luminaires have a service life of more than 100,000 hours of operation, at 80% of the initial flow. It will not be changed.
  • The management card designed by Novéa has a service life of more than 20 years.
  • The solar panel has a service life of more than 25 years (at 80% of initial power).

How does the battery react to extreme temperatures?

Our Endurance + batteries are not sensitive to heat (operating up to +65 ° C) thanks to the technology selected by the CEA of Grenoble, the Lithium Iron Phosphate.

For very cold areas, we have selected and tested Lithium Iron Phosphate cells which allow an operating until -20°C.

What are the lighting performance? Are they equivalent to those of a traditional lamp post.

The purpose of a stand-alone street lamp is to illuminate. It is therefore very important to use the best technologies in public lighting.

By approaching the Ragni Group, which has its own lighting development office, Novéa offers high quality LED luminaires worthy of the standards required in public lighting.
Cast aluminum fixtures, flat tempered glass protection and IP and IK ratings ensure a very long service life for luminaires.

From a photometric performance point of view, Novéa integrates the latest LED technologies of recognized brands and offers outputs of, for example, 165 lm / W for 3 000 K at the output of the luminaire. Our LED have an original efficiency of 225 lm/W, of which we add the losses due to optics, aluminium foundry, luminaire, and supply. To optimise this luminous efficiency, we also limit the supply intensity to a maximum of 400mA.

Novéa proposes 6 different standard optics in order to optimize the lighting study and thus the lighting power and the number of luminous points.
The only difference with grid-connected public lighting products is the need to manage energy consumption well and often to offer lighting management systems (detection, lowering, time slot …).

How is the lamp post programmed? How is reprogrammed?

Several operating programs are possible (presence detection, dimming mode, time slots, etc.).
Depending on your project, the program will be defined when ordering. This will be validated by our energy balance to ensure smooth operation throughout the year.

Besides, we don’t recommend the fail soft mode (power depending on battery charge level), because this parameter risks to generate an under sizing of the battery (autonomy too low) and to degrade the expected lighting level, which won’t be in compliance with regulations anymore (ex: places for person with reduced mobility). We prefer to anticipate days of autonomy without sunshine in our sizing, according to the geographical area.

The lamp post will be programmed in the factory. There will be no specific commissioning to perform.

In case of reprogramming, we will provide you with a key integrating the new program. This key will be connected to the product’s electronic management. It will be necessary to inform us beforehand of your wish to modify the program. This will be validated by our design office. Once validated, this key will be sent to you.

Our NoveaControl system allows remote reprogramming.

NOVEA CONTROL documentation

Does the presence detection limit the components service life, particularly the battery?

The presence detection is used either by being integrated in some luminaires, or with the offset detectors of Lacroix City. In both cases, it does not influence the components service life. Therefore, we use frequently the presence detection on our solar streetlamps. Here are the major technical reasons:

  • LED is perfectly adapted to the instantaneous lighting. It is one of its mains assets in comparison with other lighting sources.
  • For batteries, the autonomy is preserved so the battery discharge is handled as we limit the time of 100% power lighting during night. Once this maximum time is reached by night, the lighting switch on diming mode. This maximum time of 100% power lighting will be validated at the beginning of the project.

Our warranties are the same whatever the operating mode used, because it does not influence the service life of our batteries and LED.

Why is the solar panel tilted in this way?

Our solar panels are tilted mainly at 15° or 30°, depending on the latitudes, to optimise energy production at the worst case of the year. The impact of the mechanical sizing, due to the wind factor of the solar panel, is also considered to choose the inclination.

The final objective is to size the power of the solar panel according to the energy needs of the project, its geographical area and its inclination.

Does streetlights hold on strong winds? Does it agree with the EN40 standard?

As part of the Ragni Group, which is approved EN40 (standard on the mechanical strength of masts) Novéa is able to size the masts according to wind resistance and weight. Indeed this very important and reassuring competence for the end customer makes it possible to ensure a perfect holding of the mast for all the wind areas.

The Novéa masts are therefore dimensioned and manufactured specifically according to the wind resistance and the total weight of the equipment. Our regular installations and for several years, in the Antilles or Reunion which are in the most critical wind areas, prove that our sizing is adequate.

In addition, Novéa will be able to systematically provide the calculation notes on the behavior of the solar street lamp and the sizing of the concrete block. Those are in compliance with EN40 but also with technical recommendations of Industrial Technical Centre of Mechanical Construction which take into account the material fatigue to reinforce the safety.

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