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Helix is a street light which produces its own energy. The advantages of this system is that the object doesn't need to be connected to the electrical network, and it uses renewable energy.

Cosa fa?

Helix is a street light which produces its own energy. The advantages of this system is that the object doesn't need to be connected to the electrical network, and it uses renewable energy.

La tua ispirazione

Today we are closing fuel, coal, and nuclear power stations because they pollute a lot and use exhaustible energies. We need to make maximum use of the renewable energies. In addition to being cleaner for the planet, an autonomous street light doesn't need to be connected to the electrical network, so it's simpler to instal them. I also wanted to do a street light because the new LED ones are very agressive for our eyes. I wanted to integrate a large light diffuser to have a light which is calmer.

Come funziona?

This street lamp works with a wind turbine and solar panels. The wind turbine allows day and night operation, and solar panels help to the production of electricity when the wind is low. The wind turbine can produce up to 200W and solar panels 21.75W. These two sources are connected to a controller that regulates the amount of electricity that the battery needs. The battery has a capacity of 60Ah, it allows to operate the LED up until 24h, it is located at the bottom of the mast. The LEDs produce 2800Lumen of light and consumes 30W, they are connected to the battery. The wind turbine has a vertical axis, it works with the wind coming from all the directions, it is easier to maintain than a horizontal wind turbine and is quiet. It is a Savonius rotor, which is less powerful than a Darrieus one, but it produces energy with very low winds. The blades are made with translucent white plexiglass.

Processo di progettazione

To realize this project I first of all researched the types of wind turbines that exist. I chose the one that best suits this use. I then researched the sizes of batteries and solar panels. Once the elements taken into account I started to make scale models 1:1 and 1:10 scale. My goal was to fuse the various elements together so that the object looks simple and calm. It was very complicated to get something that works and that is beautiful. I then had the idea of ​​placing the blades of the wind turbine under the LEDs so that they become the light diffuser. I then did a lot of material tests to make the result nice (the more the blade is transparent, the less it diffuses the light, but the more opaque it is, the more luminous movements there are). I then made my Solidworks files to make my prototype. The mast is a 121mm diameter steel tube that allows the battery to be integrated at the bottom and the generator of the wind turbine at the top. The blades were thermoformed with a CNC mold. The model is strong, and the wind turbine turns very well, however the solar panels and the generator haven't been yet integrated into the prototype.

In che modo è differente?

Street lamps that use wind and sun are becoming more popular, especially in China where it is crucial to find solutions to limit pollution. However all these models have been made by engineers and the technological elements are separated from each other. My goal as a designer was to fuse the elements together to get something simpler and visually more pleasing. The blades diffuse the light and give a more pleasant light than the directly visible LEDs as on the existing solutions.

Progetti per il futuro

I would like to create a perfectly functional prototype with the electronic elements. I would also like to rework the materials of the blades to obtain perfect transparency with materials made for the outside (I know that there is a lot of specific Plexiglass). With these additions my goal is to show that my project is perfectly viable industrially.


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