Sep 12, 2017

Smart Poles : Innovative Streetlighting Architecture

Innovation in Street Lighting

EESL has been going all out to promote energy efficiency and incorporating the use of LED streetlights. The Streetlighting National Program (SLNP) program has been instrumental in saving over 486 million units of energy ( 0.4 million tons of CO2 emissions) during the past 4-5 years with an estimated 3.5 million streetlights already been replaced. The program is getting extended to multiple states, and state capitals are racing to copy the model applied in New Delhi with remarkable savings and results. The aim is to get to replace 14 million streetlights.

Perhaps this is the start. More exciting innovations can be planned around the conventional streetlight pole. How can conventional streetlight poles be used to deliver more ? There are innovations happening the world over
and in this blog we attempt to uncover some of the most promising ones to see what that ubiquitous streetlight can become in the future....read on to see some of the ideas that are being implemented in cities across the world.

1. Using LORA or GSM based technology, one can implement a network of lighting poles that talk to each other, and to a central point. This involves communicating the energy consumption, error codes, and failures, and any other vital information that concerns lighting.

2. Wi-Fi spots can be created using the conventional pole. These can be used to power the vision of making cities smart. The vision of a networked society can truly be realised by leveraging ready to use infrastructure which has power available.

3. Efficiency can really be boosted using solar streetlighting - the solar panels so installed by any quality supplier such as Urja Unlimited also provide surplus power during the day. These small amounts of power can be used to power low wattage items such as a CCTV / Wi-fi modem etc.

4. With the looming threats around security for most modern cities, CCTV implementation is key to making cities safe. There have been various projects and studies undertaken by institutional agencies that talk about mega installations and some states like Gujarat have also taken steps to get into implementation mode and act on these recommendations. Solar / Smart Streetlighting can take care of this requirement efficiently covering many of the dark spots and areas that are desolate and lonely. A live city-wide feed can help prevent security incidents, and also help in investigations at a subsequent time in case of an event.

5. Perhaps one of the most novel applications is using the power and the pole available, and incorporating Air Pollution sensors, that help measure and monitor AQI for the air quality. Air Pollution sensors require small amounts of power, and can help display air characteristics and also capture live data related to air quality at different times during the day. A wide network of such sensors, can help generate a heat map of the pollution providing authorities with actionable insight to prevent extremes and identify / co relate to causes of air pollution. Often data is missing, or enough data is not there that prevents quick actions. Odd - Even implementation in New Delhi is a case in point.

While the uses are many, and technology allows it, Urja Unlimited and several such players are looking forward to partnering with organisations that wish to showcase such solutions, as part of their CSR or Smart City Projects. The quicker the cities get Smart Poles, better are the chances that some city problems may get solved.

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