HomeConnectivityAustralian city of Darwin appoints Telensa to connect and make-smart 10,000 streetlights

Australian city of Darwin appoints Telensa to connect and make-smart 10,000 streetlights

The city of Darwin in Australia has appointed UK-based lighting-controls provider Telensa to connect and make-smart around 10,000 new LED street lights.

Darwin is replacing 10,000 lights on its public lighting network with LEDs. Telensa is providing the connectivity and management platform. This will introduce a variety of new lighting controls to the lighting infrastructure, including remote dimming capabilities, and bring even greater cost savings through better fault diagnosis and fix rates.

It will also establish a platform and network from which to hang further smart-city sensors and applications, noted Telensa. The project follows a Northern Territory Government initiative to transfer the control of street lights to councils, with some now contracting for LED and smart controls upgrades.

Telensa’s PLANet system comprises wireless nodes, a dedicated city-owned wireless network, and a central management application. Its data management function will be hosted in Australia by Amazon Web Services.

Telensa claims PLANet is the world’s “most popular connected streetlight system”, having connected and made-smart around 1.7 million city street lights. Telensa said its track record compelled Darwin to go straight to full deployment, without running pilot tests of the system first.

Scott Waters, chief executive officer for the City of Darwin, said: “Key infrastructure projects such as street and public lighting demand the highest standards to ensure reliability and value for money, and Telensa’s proposition more than satisfies both of those criteria.”

He added: “[We] will be able to reduce costs whilst improving our street and public lighting service. This project is another example of Darwin’s leadership, delivering a safer, smarter, and more efficient environment for our community.”

Will Gibson, founder and chief commercial officer at Telensa, said: “Telensa’s flexibility and scalability means that we are able to begin deployment straight away, and we’re looking forward to working with the City of Darwin on low-cost smart city applications which can be enabled by the city’s new lighting network.”

Last month, Telensa said its new ‘multi-sensor pods’ will run on Qualcomm’s SDM845 processors, making use of the California chip company’s artificial intelligence (AI) engine.

Telensa said Qualcomm’s 845 system-on-chip will help its smart city systems reach the scale required to “digitise complete cities” on account of their compactness, power-efficiency, cost-effectiveness. The company is deploying the multi-sensor pods on street lights as part of its new Urban Data Project, which starts this month (March) with first deployments in Cambridge, in the UK.

Smart lighting delivers a 70-75 per cent reduction in energy costs, with 50 per cent achieved just by switching to LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, and a further 20-25 per cent eked out with lighting controls. Payback is pegged at around five years.

But upgrading to LED lighting does not bring intelligence; that comes from connecting and controlling the lighting network, which also streamlines its maintenance. Civic authorities can save around 80 per cent on maintenance costs through centralised tweaks and insights, reckons Telensa, which identifies seven ways cities can make their money back on smart street lighting.

Telensa claims some of the largest smart street lighting deployments in the world, including in Georgia state in the US, and the UK counties of Essex and Hertfordshire.

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