The Philips Combo Charge Controller is expected to open up new markets for solar-powered lighting. Adding to the many countries in Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and Spain, where Signify has already installed solar lighting.
The new combo charge controller is also able to boost the output of solar streetlights to 24,000 lumens and supports wireless remote monitoring functionality. The new technology will be integrated into all the solar lighting products Signify is launching this year. The solar panels charge the batteries during the day and the stored energy powers the LEDs at night. If the batteries run out of power, the LEDs are powered with energy drawn from the power grid.
Hybrid solar systems only need a solar panel and battery capacity of one day as grid power is available during cloudy days or in wintertime, whereas off-grid solar lighting systems typically need up to five days of panel and battery capacity. This makes solar lighting now also a feasible solution in areas with seasonal sunshine and will greatly help on saving energy in those places.
The new combo charge controller also increases efficiency and reliability. It’s now possible to drive LEDs more efficiently, further reducing size – and consequently costs – of batteries and panels while at the same time increasing reliability of the whole system. The new generation of the combo charge controller can drive luminaires from 5,000 to 24,000 lumens. This allows them to target a wider range of applications from pedestrian paths to main city roads. It is also possible to service a wider range of autonomy days, which represents the number of days that energy is stored in the battery. The integrated LED driver enables a system efficacy of up to 170 lumens/Watt from 140 lumens/Watt, the highest in the industry.