By charging street lamps during daylight hours, the new solar-powered solution from Philips Lighting and NXP can supplement the capacity of the conventional electricity grid, saving money and reducing CO2 emissions. The key to the breakthrough lies in the combination of High Brightness LEDs and unique patented optics from Philips Lighting, together with NXP’s MPT61x range of configurable ICs for Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), which can deliver 98% power conversion efficiency in solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.
NXP’s MPT61x intelligent charge controller family enables Solar Gen2 to transfer the maximum amount of power from the solar panels to the batteries. The MPT61x ICs also ensure that the charging and discharging of the battery happens in a smart way to maximize battery life. In addition, the controllers can dim light levels as needed based on a self-learning intelligence and history log.
According to Kees van der Klauw, SVP Technology & Development at Philips Lighting, the technology addresses a need felt by 1.6 billion people in countries where the electricity grid cannot be relied upon to power street lighting at night. For this target group, Solar Gen2 is said to provide a cost-effective off-grid outdoor lighting solution that can compete with existing on-grid lighting in performance, integral cost and energy consumption, van der Klauw stated.
The solution has been demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show past week.
The NXP MPT612 IC provides:
- NXP’s patent-pending MPPT algorithm, which simplifies development and maximizes system efficiency
- An application-specific software development kit including libraries and easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs)
- Dedicated hardware functions for PV panels, including voltage and current measurement, and panel parameter configuration for simple and fast design of end-products
- Low-power ARM7TDMI-S™ RISC processor operating up to 70 MHz
- Buck-Boost charger topology supporting 98% system efficiency in battery charging
Further information on the NXP MPT612 is available at: https://www.nxp.com/pip/MPT612