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16.12.2009 00:00

Q-Cells Brings Light to Copenhagen

  • New solar cell with outstanding low-light performance suitable for nothern latitudes
  • Economical solar-powered streetlamps generate power and cuts CO2 emissions


Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 16 December 2009 – Streetlamps powered by sunlight are being used to light up the outdoor areas and car parks at the “Bella Center” hosting the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The conversion of daylight into electricity is enabled by a brand-new generation of solar cells made by German photovoltaic company Q-Cells. The cells’ excellent performance in low-light conditions performs best at northern latitudes. The streetlamps built by Scotia from Denmark use just half the power produced by the solar cells, the surplus energy being fed directly into the grid. This invention by British lighting artist Steven Scott cuts clearly the CO2 emissions compared with conventional streetlamps. 

The Scotia streetlamp integrates highly efficient silicon solar cells made by Q-Cells, which were debuted in September 2009 at the leading solar exhibition in Hamburg. The modules used have been fitted with the Q6LMX – a new square monocrystalline 6" solar cell whose excellent specification includes outstanding performance in low-light conditions, making it eminently suitable for this project. After discussing the initial sketches with Steven Scott in March 2009, Q-Cells engineered the entire photovoltaic system necessary. Says Daniel Binder, the Q-Cells product application engineer responsible for the technical design of the photovoltaic components: “The dark, very homogeneous appearance of these monocrystalline cells was just right for Steven Scott’s design. Using the Scotia lighting system will enable towns and cities the world over to save energy, protect the environment and ensure public safety thanks to their direct connection to the power grid.”

One important innovation of this system is its direct grid-connection. During the day Scotia streetlamps feed solar power into the grid – and at night-time receive the energy they need from the electrical distribution network in return. 

Scotia was set up by British lighting artist Steven Scott and is based in Copenhagen. Despite fierce competition, the company was chosen to provide outdoor lighting for the UN Climate Change Conference. Scotia streetlamps are being used to light up the external entrance area and the car parks of the conference centre, where delegates from 170 countries are currently meeting.