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Case study: Oslo using smart lighting to drive sustainability

Smart lighting lays the groundwork for a smart city

The City of Oslo needed a street lighting solution to satisfy European directives to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. The Norwegian capital also wanted to lower street light operating costs, ensure driver and pedestrian safety, and allow remote monitoring and control. Following a global trend, the city opted to use smart lighting as a platform for other IoT-related services.

As part of the city’s smart lighting system, Oslo has been replacing mechanical ballasts in its 55,000 streetlights with electronic ballasts that communicate over existing power lines using California-based firm Echelon’s power line technology.

Echelon explained that the system remotely monitors and controls the lights, dimming them based on traffic, weather, and available light. It also analyzes lamp behavior and identifies lamp failures.

Oslo chose an Echelon smart lighting system based on LONWORKS technology, an open architecture that lets control devices from multiple manufacturers interact with each other. The project included the replacement of older and inefficient mechanical ballasts in the city’s 55,000 streetlights with electronic ballasts that communicate over existing power lines using Echelon’s power line technology.

The system was integrated by Kongsberg Analogic, which specializes in LONWORKS-based energy management solutions, and Dutch lighting solutions company Philips Lighting.

Echelon’s SmartServers, which act as segment controllers, manage the streetlights and use the mobile telephone data network to communicate with the city’s monitoring center. The SmartServers log and report how much energy the streetlights use and how long they run, collect information from traffic and weather sensors, and use an internal astronomical clock to calculate the availability of natural light from the sun and moon. This data is used to automatically dim some or all of the streetlights. This feature allows the City of Oslo to save significant amounts of energy, but also extends lamp life, thus lowering replacement costs.

City employees use Streetlight.Vision’s enterprise monitoring software to remotely control the lamps, analyze their behavior, and identify any lamp failures. They also use Philips’ StarSense software and Streetlight.Vision’s Streetlight Suite software to measure and display energy use.

“Outdoor lighting is an important part of the strategic asset base for cities, municipalities, and large enterprises,” Echelon said. “Modern commercial outdoor lighting systems are being asked to do more than ever before. In addition to fulfilling their primary purpose of casting light onto dark roadways, parking areas, and public spaces, outdoor lighting systems are increasingly evaluated for how well they reduce energy consumption, improve safety for both pedestrians and drivers, and serve as the foundation for a range of internet of things (IoT) applications.”




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