Smart City Street lighting Infrastructure

Smart City Street lighting Infrastructure

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- Philip Handley, Smart DCC Ltd.

The Challenge

The monitoring and control of street lights has become the backbone of global Smart Cities – initially driven by the need to save energy and reduce costs, but rapidly becoming the ubiquitous hub through which all manner of urban data feeds are collated.

Telensa’s PLANet is a world leading lighting control system, deployed on 1.5 million lights around the world and required our expertise to help further develop the technology.

The challenge was to deliver a license free radio system to allow communication between hundreds of thousands of nodes over citywide areas, all with minimal running costs.

A range of required extra features, from meeting stringent metering specifications to global approvals and extended product lifespans, made this an exciting Internet of Things (IoT) design brief.

The Approach

Plextek created a custom Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) radio protocol, capable of ranges over 16km with a single base station about to connect to up to 5000 sensor nodes.

The monitoring and control involved sensing the voltage and current in the lamp unit and deriving the power consumption and the power factor – power factor is important as it indicates the “health” of the lamp; a falling lamp will have a high power factor. This information is transmitted to the base station that then sends commands to the street lights to either switch or dim.

With exposed hardware on top of the street light column, a strict environmental specification was called for with respect to temperature range, water tightness and resistance to deterioration of the plastic sensor housing caused by sunlight.

The Outcome

Our UNB Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology has been tried and tested in live global deployments for over a decade now, successfully helping Telensa build their position as a Smart City Market Leader.

Acting as Telensa’s design authority, Plextek continue to support the technology through adding new features and product variants to meet changing market needs.

Telensa have now taken the lead in providing cities with a range of urban data and sensing solutions, with Plextek providing technical services to facilitate these bold new Smart City products and services.

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