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Street lights as Street Light 4.0: More than just a light source

Dino Eisele
Street lights as Street Light 4.0
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F ast one percent of all energy in Germany flows into the lighting of streets. That is four terawatt hours (TWh) or four trillion watt hours annually - and around a quarter of what the Isar 2 nuclear power plant produces per year. For around 9.5 million street lamps. Extrapolated to the whole of Europe, four nuclear power plants could go offline if the lights stayed off at night. But it shouldn't. Therefore an update is urgently needed.

Smart solution from EnBW: This gives the term lantern parker a sustainable meaning.

Ein Most of the outdoor lights are still equipped with lamps whose technology and efficiency date from the 1960s. Sodium high-pressure lamps, for example, have a better light output compared to high-pressure mercury, but they attract insects, which requires frequent cleaning. And they lose performance after just 2,000 hours of operation. The acute problem for all tired lights: They have been on the EU index since the end of 2015. And are no longer for sale.

Save big with LED technology

The current street lights are still not very intelligent, because they only differentiate between on and off. Dimming is only possible with a few and usually only in a modest range of around ten percent. So digital networking is the order of the day. The LED light unit is ideal for this because it has already built in the electronics for control and diagnosis. In addition, LEDs save up to 70 percent of energy costs.

But if you are already thinking about Street Light 4.0, much more is possible. The diagnostic function, which reports a failure of the LED in case of doubt, also provides the data channel for theAcquisition and evaluation of further sensor data: You can see whether pedestrians, cyclists or cars are moving. And adjust the light intensity. It is possible to detect free parking spaces and report accidents. And all of these events can be communicated in real time. Directly or via the cloud. Weather data would also be possible.

Philips recently set up a network in the urban area of ​​Siegburg. The CityTouch system not only provides the best light, but also transparency. The street lighting data is now available on demand and does not have to be generated first. The control and control of the brightness is done by the computer. Osram also offers such networking software called Smart Light Control (SLC). Here, too, communication takes place via secure IP connections via GPRS, Ethernet or fiber optic cables.

Smart City 2016

Baden-Württemberg's network provider EnBW has gone one step further. In a kind of start-up, employees could run through ideas like on a university campus. Project manager Matthias Weiß explains: 'We asked ourselves what street lighting will mean in the city of tomorrow.' The result is a product called Smight, which was immediately converted into finished products. You can already put together a collection of smart street lights and have them installed on the Internet.

Smight street lamp from EnBW.

From the WLAN cuff for existing lamps, which can be installed in just 45 minutes, a one-time payment of 2,000 euros costs and provides WiFi for 69 euros per month, right up to the complete package with WiFi, SOS and charging station for electric vehicles with 3.5 and 22 kW. With an option for more sensors, which are currently also being developed as add-ons for old lamps. Smart city not of tomorrow, but already in 2016.

EnBW already has 22 communities on board and has already installed some intelligent street lights in Wiesloch and Karlsruhe. Matthias Weiß wants to maintain direct customer contact by generating his own email address for the users' experiences. 'From this we can then gain valuable suggestions for the expansion.'

Various ideas

OneThe technicians at the Spanish company Eolgreen are taking a completely different approach. You want to make street lighting independent of the power grid. Because 'eolic' ('aeolian') is included in the name of the company. And that means 'made by the wind'. As a result, a wind generator sits right at the top of the street lamp.

And two solar panels complement the self-sufficient furniture in case the wind blows at less than 1.7 meters per second. Pedro Montes, Head of Development and Application at Eolgreen, attaches great importance to this number. Because while other providers calculate with wind speeds of more than 4 m /s, Eolgreen has determined that the annual average wind, for example in Barcelona, ​​hardly blows above 3 m /s.

Is it all a question of cost?

Of course, none of this is free. In addition: cities and municipalities are usually clammy. Philips offers a solution called 'Amortization Contract'. In other words: if you cut emissions and costs by half, you have money in the till with which you can amortize the intelligent lighting - if Philips makes an advance payment.

The EU and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy also offer extensive Funding. With the application, so the aim of the EnBW, the provider from Baden-Württemberg wants to help the cities and communities. Wieslochs OB has leased the package from EnBW for five years and has secured an all-round service.

The municipal administrations are responsible for whether Street Light 4.0 becomes a reality. And the citizens who get involved and have to point out increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Up to 70 percent of the current costs can be eliminated. Some mayors have already made a decision and taken the necessary steps to make the urban environment ripe for Street Light 4.0.

Dino Eisele
As early as 2016, the smart street lights could increasingly characterize the streetscape.

Then with WiFi Operating digital natives or including charging stations for e-bikes and e-cars is no longer a major effort. The infrastructure is in place. The bottom line is that the 0.8 percent of energy costs that are wasted on street lighting could result in 100 percent satisfaction forthe citizens arise. But that requires the courage to invest.

This is how a WiFi street lamp works

SOS marking: The integrated light signal is already off when the emergency call system is activated far away, where help is needed.

LED lights: A need-based improvement of path lighting with energy-saving LED technology ensures safety in remote, less frequented areas as well as for up to 70 percent energy savings.

WLAN: With smartphones and tablets, the demands on the Internet connection have increased. Public WLAN in the city offers the user a high level of convenience thanks to a free and fast internet connection without data limits. In addition, it forms the basis for the integration, networking and control of future technologies.

Environment: The integrated environmental sensors measure around the clock and a. Particulate matter pollution and temperature and provides measurement data that, after evaluation, help, for example, to control the traffic as required.

Microphone & loudspeaker: The microphone is not only used to measure the volume level, but also provides a combination With the loudspeaker the possibility of communication between the emergency call center and the user in emergencies.

Interface /display: Information about current environmental data, WLAN, e-mobility or the emergency call process is provided to the user on the display depending on the situation displayed.

Emergency call button: An integrated emergency call system establishes a direct connection to the nearest emergency call center within seconds at the push of a button in order to provide quick help if necessary.

Display Charge: The charging process for an electric vehicle can be started by identifying it with the user card on the RFID sensor. The Charge display shows the user's tariff information and further information on the charging process during the entire charging process.

E-Mobility: Smight - a project by EnBW - creates a charging network for the current E -Mobility technology. At the base, electric vehicles can be charged with up to 22 kW via a power connection - from pedelecs to electric cars.

Brackets: The brackets protect the mast. Smaller e-vehicles such as pedelecs can be securely connected to the bracket while charging.


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