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The brazilian mechanical enginner, Fernandes Ximenes, owner of the company Gram-Eollic, developed the first self sufficent lamp post, powered 100% by the wind and the sun.
With models ranging from 36 feet to 54 feet high (made of steel), this intricate invention, which is called Produtor Independente de Energia(PIE, or Independent Producer of Energy), calls attention for its aesthetics. It has a small scaled airplane on the top of the lamp post.(You can see the image on the link of the news)
Made of carbon fiber and a special alluminum - the same matterial used in commercial airplanes -, the 9 feet long airplane model is, in reality, the main ingredient for this successful recipe.
Ximenes says that the format of the airplane wasn't chosen by accident. The choice was made by its aerodynamics, which faccilitates the capture of sun rays and wind.
"Not only that, with the shape of the airplane on top, the lamp post remains safer. It has two complementary power sources(sun and wind) and it can be installed anywhere in the country(Brazil) or in the world.", says the inventor.
Not every lamp post needs the airplane model on top of it. Every lamp post with the airplane model, called PIE, is treated as a generator and can power up another 2 regular lamp posts, besides itself.
To use the maximum capacity of the invention, it is advised to use LED lights in the lamp posts, which are more lumminous, with higher durability and more ecologically correct.
When fully powered, the PIE has an autonomy of 7 days. In the case of blackout in the city, the PIE lamp posts remain lighted for 7 days, while regular batteries in lamp posts today only work for 70 hours.
How the idea was born
The inventor explains he had this idea on 2001, during a major blackout in Brazil. In that time, his researches showed it was possible to provide alternative solutions to the energy chaos. It was a hard and perilous journey, for the lacking of financial incentives and he had to pay everything from his own pocket, besides having to overcome the pessimists who didn't believe in him or his idea.
Today, he has the full support from the government of the state of Ceara, in Brazil. It's been 7 years of tests and adjustments and now the technology is ready to spread away from the pilot area to the streets, parks and highways.
Originally posted by ExPostFacto
Governments like people using energy. They get to tax it. These types of inventions need to go viral in local communities. If I needed some outdoor lights I might buy these as well.
Technically, the plane's wings house solar cells that capture infrared and ultraviolet rays through the silicon (chemical element that is the main component of glass, cement, ceramics, most of semiconductor components and silicones), transforming them into electrical energy (up to 400 watts), which is stored in a battery posted a few feet below. Delivering the same task of generating energy, are the propellers of the plane. Just as the nacelles (blades) of big windmills scattered around the coast of Ceará, energy (up to 1000 watts) is generated from these blades spin.
Originally posted by Sir Solomon
I'm glad to see an invention like this coming to light! When I did some research on wind power I thought it would be neat to power street lights via wind, but solar too, hmm... hadn't thought about that.
Something I would want to know is that how much incoming solar radiation that portion of Brazil gets along with its average yearly wind speed. Those are important pieces of data in seeing if this could be transplanted other places in the world.
Also a power curve showing how much this system could produce at different wind speeds/cloud cover would be useful if anyone is thinking of getting one of these.