Solar street lights becoming dysfunctional

  • When solar panels are covered with dust, they receive less light preventing the battery from being recharged fully

Kathmandu, December 27

Due to lack of proper maintenance, more than 5,000 solar street lights in Kathmandu Valley have become dysfunctional.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Nepal Electricity Authority and Kathmandu District Development Committee had installed solar street lights in several parts of Kathmandu Valley two years ago.

According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City, the organisation that installed the solar street lights is responsible for their upkeep. “We have received complaints of street lights not working with dust covering their solar panels. In most places, the lights are working for four hours only though they are supposed to work for 12 hours,” said Uttar Kumar Regmi, chief of the Department of Physical Development and Construction at KMC. He said KMC in coordination with Nepal Electricity would soon take initiative for the maintenance of street lights in Kathmandu Valley.

He said NEA had been mulling handover of all solar street lights it had installed to KMC. According to KMC, most of the solar street lights in Kathmandu were installed by NEA. “We have realised that solar street lights need regular maintenance,” said Regmi, adding, “Once the NEA hands over all the street lights to NEA, we will ensure regular maintenance of the street lights.”

While NEA had installed more than 1,600 solar lights, KMC had installed 2,000 solar street lights. KMC is planning to install additional 1,000 solar street lights by the end of current fiscal. The government had installed solar lights ahead of the 18th SAARC Summit held in November 2014.

Whenthe solar panels are covered with dust, they receives less light preventing the battery from being recharged sufficiently. If the battery is not recharged sufficiently, its efficiency declines very fast.