at dawn automatically while charging takes place when the luminaires are off. The combination of these units will result in well-lit roads using a reliable and efficient power source. The system being tested has been confirmed to be very reliable and efficient as a solar panel can be used for an average of 25 years.
In distinguishing between a developed and an undeveloped community, a criterion normally considered is the brightness of the community at night. This factor affects the economy of Africa in numerous ways. Because of this fact Africa has been tagged the “Dark Continent”. It can be observed from satellite images taken at night that Africa is still underdeveloped. A major problem is in power generation in Africa. Power generated in Africa is insufficient and cannot cater for
the needs of outdoor lights. Over the years the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity has not produced enviable results. Besides, fossil fuels have caused a lot of havoc to the ecosystem with Africa not being able to tap into the advantages of using fossil fuels to generate electricity. Therefore the need for an alternative source of generating electricity arises. The alternative source must be cheap, reliable and efficient.
An alternative energy source is solar energy. This is a preferable choice as Africa is in the tropics with considerable amount of sunlight in a day that can be converted into electricity.
Solar energy utilisation is on the rise in our modern world as the fossil fuels have great adverse effect on our environment. Solar energy as a form of renewable energy has been in use since the times of Archimedes in 212 BC. At the time solar energy was being converted to heat energy for defence purposes. Other notable scientists have made countless improvements in the utilisation of solar
energy since then. In 1839, Edmond Becquerel a French scientist discovered the photovoltaic effect.
In 1966 the first orbiting astronomical observatory was launched by NASA which was powered by 1KW photovoltaic array. As at 1999 the cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity in the world had skyrocketed to 1000MW. Today, solar energy is being used to generate electricity worldwide