Integrated solar power services
- Exclusive provider of photovoltaic equipment maintenance services across Taiwan for Taipower
- Installation of solar panels on the rooftops of offices creates additional revenue for Chunghwa Post and promotes green energy
- All streetlights in Chiayi City replaced with energy-efficient, eco-friendly LED lights
An ever-growing global population means that the Earth’s resources are under more strain than ever before. In addition, the effects of global warming have led to increased awareness about climate change and opposition to highly polluting traditional methods of power generation. To complicate matters, the widespread adoption of consumer electronics has resulted in historically high levels of energy demand. With nuclear energy falling out a favor in the public eye after a severe incident less than a decade ago, there are few remaining popular options for clean energy sources.
In light of this situation, many governments and enterprises worldwide have turned their focus to solar power. Weather permitting, the sun can provide more than enough energy to meet the needs of communities the world over — as long as the right technologies, infrastructure and plans are in place.
Established in 1999, Leadray Energy Co. is a leading provider of energy-efficient LED lighting solutions that help governments and companies reduce costs, as well as their carbon footprint. Having grasped the potential opportunities created by this shift toward solar, Leadray has refocused its efforts and become one of Taiwan’s prime photovoltaic services providers.
Focus on solar energy opens up opportunities across all of Taiwan
With 280 townships, Taiwan’s service area for LED streetlights is large. However, fierce competition — at home and abroad — means diminishing profitability from the sector, so Leadray’s shift towards solar energy came at an opportune time.
“Domestic demand for solar power is high, so we retrained workers in the maintenance of photovoltaic equipment,” Leadray General Manager Jack Lin said.
“We are now Taipower’s exclusive solar equipment maintenance services provider,” he said, referring to state-owned electric utility Taiwan Power Co. “We perform maintenance work for Taipower nationwide, including at facilities in [outlying] Kinmen and Penghu [counties], as well as the solar power plant in Taichung’s Longjing District.”
Solar panels installed on Chunghwa Post offices generate electricity and increase revenue
As part of policies to reduce dependence on nuclear and fossil fuel-fired energy generation, Taiwan’s central government has over the past several years been promoting several initiatives to increase adoption of renewable energy sources. One such program calls for government agencies and state-run enterprises to install photovoltaic panels on their unused rooftops, with the aim of proving the viability of the technology so that private-sector entities will follow suit.
In 2018, Leadray received a contract to install solar panels on the rooftops of about a dozen offices of Chunghwa Post Co., Taiwan’s government-run postal service. For this project, Leadray’s team waterproofed roofs, constructed steel frames, mounted photovoltaic panels and installed inverters, which in total took up about 60 percent of the offices’ roof area. Since completing the installations, Leadray has been providing maintenance for the new equipment.
“Chunghwa Post paid for the installation of the photovoltaic panels, turning the rooftops into solar power plants. These generate energy that is then bought by Taipower, creating an additional monthly revenue stream for the post office,” Lin said. “While the average user pays NT$3 for per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, Taipower buys solar power at NT$4 or NT$5 per kilowatt hour, meaning increased income for the post office derived from an eco-friendly source.”
Smart streetlights epitomize integration of smart technology, power generation, energy storage and conservation
In addition to its forays into solar energy, Leadray has not rested on its laurels in the field of LED streetlights. LED lighting is one of Taiwan’s strategic industries and streetlights are being promoted on the international stage. With energy conservation and carbon emissions reduction becoming national issues, the transition to LED lights provides ample opportunities for significant improvement in both areas.
Due to traditional mercury-vapor lamps contributing significant amounts of pollution and containing high levels of toxic mercury, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy has laid out a plan for their replacement with more efficient, cleaner LED versions.
“LED streetlights are 50 to 70 percent more energy efficient than traditional lights, and are up to three times brighter and offer wider light distribution, which help improve road safety and security by eliminating dark lanes and alleys,” Lin said.
“In 2017, the Chiayi City Government replaced all of the city’s more than 27,000 streetlights with LED versions — a world first,” Lin said.
According to a private survey commissioned by the city government, public satisfaction with the LED replacements is as high as 86.5 percent, while the crime rate has fallen 17 percent, he added.
In addition, by introducing a number of smart features, Leadray has upgraded its streetlights into truly Internet of Things devices. These streetlights are the embodiment of the company’s capabilities integrating four areas: smart technology, power generation, energy storage and conservation of electricity.
The streetlights feature integrated solar power capabilities, allowing them to generate electricity. This electricity is then stored internally and can be used to power the streetlights — including any additional installed hardware — even if they are disconnected from the grid. Automation helps to conserve energy by turning the lights on and off as required by the situation. Finally, embedded systems allow for the collection and transmission of data that can be used by municipal administrations — enabling truly smart functionality.
Leadray Energy Co. Ltd.
Integrated solar power services
- Professional solar power equipment maintenance
- Photovoltaic panels promote use of green energy and create additional revenue stream
- Smart streetlights collect data, generate power, store energy and feature conservation functions