An example application of microcontrollers in solar panels
A study by the Institute for Solar Energy Singapore (SERIS) resulted in a concrete project that can illuminate rural communities in Asia. This project uses solar technology coupled with proximity sensors and microcontrollers to create an adaptive lighting and saving electricity.
With a grant from the Institute Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), a team pioneered the concept of cheap solar street lights that can be used in non-connected to an electricity grid. The development of the idea led to the formation of start-up Fosera Lighting to market the product, called Commlight.
The Commlight is a floor lamp with an intelligent microprocessor and a motion sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness level of the brightest when it detects activity. Alternatively, to save energy lamp switches to dim mode when there is no need bright light. The solar panel is designed to integrate LEDs, which consume little power and lithium-ion batteries for long life to minimize maintenance.
An efficient and robust system
The system was designed to be very efficient and have a life expectancy up to 10 years. This was achieved by implementing a passive cooling system for the battery and patented a power management algorithm running across a microcontroller for an adaptive lighting. Electronic components housed in a waterproof casing and durable aluminum ensure long even in harsh climates operation. The lamp is easy to install and use mounting accessories “Security.”
Use of Commlight
Commlight can typically be used in small streets, sidewalks, markets, small businesses, parking lots, bus stops, rural communities and the places where the grid is unavailable or network connection is too expensive.
Last year Fosera Lighting has launched the “Floor for Cambodia”. This campaign was a social responsibility project to help improve the standard of living and security of people in the province of Kampong Chhanang in central Cambodia. Produced in partnership with the NGO Base of the Pyramid and the World Toilet Organization, the campaign has raised enough money to install 16 streetlights in villages Commlight Kraing Learve, Toek Laak and Trapaing Kravann.
“We will continue to develop other products with our own resources and in cooperation with SERIS,” said Robert Handel, founder and CEO of Lighting Fosera. Currently, the company is testing a system integrated with wifi hot spot inside the Commlight lamp and focuses on reducing costs.
The most promising startups
As a reward for its innovation, Fosera Lighting won the title of “start-up the most promising” in the category “Engineering” at TechVenture 2013, a platform that allows regional start-ups to present their ideas and projects potential and develop promising business plan investors.