Each year around June 21st a particular natural phenomenon occurs: the summer solstice. Beyond marking the beginning of the summer season, this solstice is also the day of the year with the longest light, offering an unequalled duration of sunshine. Depending on the capture of solar energy, photovoltaic street lamps are in for a real treat today!
What is a summer solstice all about ?
A solstice is an astronomical phenomenon related to the tilt of the Earth’s axis in relation to the Sun. There are two solstices during the year, which correspond to the moments where the sun is the furthest from the equator, when it reaches its southernmost or northernmost position.
Unlike equinoxes which designate the two periods of the year when day and night duration are equal everywhere on Earth, solstices corresponds to the periods of the year when day and night alternately reach their maximum duration. Solstices like equinoxes announce the changes of season: a summer solstice and a winter one, a spring equinox and an autumn one.
Summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the day when the sun sets the latest. For the southern hemisphere, June 21st means on the contrary winter solstice, the shortest day. On June 21st 2021, the sun shone a little over 16 hours in France! This day in which the sun reigns reminds us how lucky we are to have an exceptional natural resource available for the production of energy in many fields of application, including that of ecological lighting.
The great potential of the sun as an energy source
The sun is a primary energy source, which means that it is an energy resulting from a natural phenomenon, such as the wind, the tides or the heat of the grounds. Unlike other sources of primary energy such as oil, coal or natural gas, the sun has the added advantage of being a renewable energy source.
The sun can be used to produce clean electricity, through concentrated thermodynamic power plants or solar thermal power plants, or through photovoltaic solar panels. This unlimited and free resource of clean energy is a real power reservoir. Captured by solar panels, the sunlight can supply energy to many private as well as public spaces.
Solar power is a renewable energy whose exploitation is in strong progression these last years. The potential of this inexhaustible resource is more and more valued by our societies, in search of efficient energy solutions in line with the objectives of the sustainable development. According to a study by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the production of electricity from solar photovoltaic sources in France amounts to 14,8 terawatt hours (TWh) for the year 2021, a record and an 11% increase compared to 2020. This encouraging increase continues in 2022, proving that the sun is more than ever an energy source with which we must count on.
The power of the solar lighting for our public spaces
The electricity produced through solar energy allows supplying our public lighting system with renewable energy. By replacing a traditional street light with a solar street lamp, municipalities save on energy costs while using a clean and unlimited resource with comparable lighting power.
Since 2011, Sunna Design has been developing a technology to produce, store and manage solar energy to power street lamps and Smart City applications, providing citizens with smart, reliable and sustainable solar street lighting. A pioneer in energy management for autonomous and connected applications, the company is a key player in solar lighting as a whole, and in solar street lamps design and manufacturing in particular.
All over the world, festivities celebrate the summer solstice, and have done so for thousands of years. The growth potential of clean energies in our daily activities becoming more and more evident thanks to current solar technologies gives us another reason to celebrate the longest day of the year!