After decades of thoughtless exploitation of the Earth’s resources and extensive reliance on fossil fuel humankind is starting to come to its senses environment-wise and depart from a purely consuming attitude to nature. Green energy technologies are gathering stunning momentum converting thousands of ecologically-minded proselytes and encouraging them to eschew conventional power sources. Renewable energy provided by wind, geothermal heat, tides, and even plants and algae is environmentally friendly and, unlike fossil fuel, virtually everlasting.
Sunlight is one of such energy sources that can be transformed into electrical power via photovoltaic panels. Being most efficient when utilized on an industrial scale these devices can find their way into private homesteads as well.
A Smart Control System for Solar Panels
Until recently, solar panels have been deployed in fixed positions which guaranteed their greatest efficiency only when the sun shone directly upon them. It seemed natural to make panels follow the sun movement to provide them with the highest possible insolation level throughout the whole day. Modern automation advancement procured a solution to this problem with the help of solar actuators.
These devices are extensively used in many systems where the precision of positioning is imperative, such as TV lifts or adjustable desks. Being equipped with a solar tracker actuator static solar panels become mobile which boosts their efficiency up to 50%. Solar linear actuators allow tilting the panels along a single (horizontal or vertical) or dual-axis to let them absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.
Typically, a solar panel actuator uses a 12V DC battery. However, you can opt for a thermal linear actuator, a kind of solar remote control, that doesn’t need any external source of power but rather responds to the environment temperature changes to operating.
Leveraging solar actuators enables to install solar panels in seemingly unlikely places. For instance, there exist solar trailers where photovoltaic panels equipped with a solar actuator are located on the roof of a vehicle. Such a solution provides greater mobility of the panels which can thus be located in places with access to unclouded sunlight.
Another potential field of solar panel application is solar flood lights with remote control.
A Solar Flood Light with Remote Control
Everyone who ever returned home after dark (that is practically all of us) encountered some problems with parking the car or finding the keyhole. The solution to these difficulties is outdoor lights which come in several guises:
- Spotlights shine upon a certain zone that is why they are typically installed to illuminate doors, signs, and other similar objects which are hard to see in the darkness.
- Landscape lights are integrated into your landscape design serving both for décor and security considerations. Usually, they are of lower lighting power than the other types.
- Floodlights are much more powerful since they are meant to light up larger areas where outdoor events (such as sports games or musical concerts) are held.
These can be powered by solar panels. Solar floodlights have a number of advantages in comparison with their conventional counterparts.
They are not only environmentally-friendly, but budget-friendly as well, since, first of all, their price is much lower, and, second of all, their maintenance cost is also minimal involving only cleaning the solar panel and the lights approximately twice a year. And you won’t have to pale seeing your electricity bill spending the saved money on your family or entertainment instead.
Solar floodlights don’t require any complex wiring being connected to the solar panel with a single wire. This is especially important if they are located at a distance from the solar panel (say, at the driveway or above your shed) which would make the connection to the source of power difficult and, moreover, increase expenditures.
Solar flood lights can be motion-activated or have a standard switch. In the latter case, it is important to have a remote control for solar outdoor lights. Using it you can not only turn them on when you need but change the direction and angle of the light stream provided the system is equipped with a linear actuator.
However beneficial solar energy may be for environmentally-aware users, much sunshine may sometimes become a detriment. Inhabitants of countries located in hot climatic zones find staying inside a building far from comfortable. To combat the excess of sunlight solar louver complexes are used.
Solar Automated Louvers
Regular solar shading systems are meant to protect indoor premises from direct sunlight. They function as natural cooling systems that are much cheaper than air conditioners. In the era of mechanization and digitalization, electronic louvers integrated into the building design come into play. Catering to the whims of customers they may be either mounted outside the building or sandwiched between two windowpanes limiting solar light with remote control. Equipped with a solar tracker linear actuator automatic louvers can become “an intelligent skin” that adjusts automatically to the level of light depending on the time of day and weather conditions.
Typically, louver blades are made of solid or perforated aluminum and come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. However, you can have them made of photovoltaic glass which effectively turns them into solar panels. In this case, the louver actuator will control both shading and generating electricity at the same time thus utilizing the system to the maximum.
Shading systems can also be installed on many delicate structures, for instance, galleries, atrium skylights, and pergolas.
Solar Shading for Pergolas
Pergola is one of the trendy elements of contemporary exterior design. Located in the backyard or patio, this airy structure features a latticed roof upheld by columns.
As the lattice beams don’t form a solid roof they don’t offer complete protection from direct sunlight. The latter is likely to afflict people relaxing there since it is the fiercest at the time of day when they want to spend time in this comfortable open-air space. That is why when you decide on building pergolas it is advisable to furnish their roofs with shading or louvers. Installing into them linear actuators controlled by weather sensors will provide protection from excessive heat and glare (and from rain and snow as well). If you feel the need for privacy you may screen spaces between columns as well. Fabric shades normally used for this purpose can be also smart-controlled with actuator-driven mechanisms.
Intense sunlight is both a blessing and a curse. Using the systems of linear motion control modern technologies have learned to leverage the former and downplay the latter turning human habitat into a comfortable place to live in.