Problem: Did you know, streetlights in Europe generate greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 20 million cars (40 million tons of CO2 annually). At $13 billion, it accounts for more than 40% of the government’s energy bill.
While looking down from a flight, Dutch designer, Chintan Shah, who at the time was a student at Delft University of Technology, wondered how GHG emissions can be reduced from street lighting (Carrington, 2013).
Technology: Smart Street Lighting
Shah developed a lighting solution that uses wireless sensors. The on-demand lighting system only lights up the street when a person, bicycle or car is present. The intelligent system dims the rest of the time. It can also differentiate between people and smaller animals so as to avoid lighting up unnecessarily (Carrington, 2013).
Shah first deployed this technology at the Delft university where he won a campus competition. This was then replicated in two cities in Holland and one in Ireland (Carrington, 2013).
Under the brand name, Tvilight, Shah’s aim is to conserve energy. The newly designed street lighting system can help reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. Furthermore, it can reduce maintenance cost by 50% due to an integrated wireless sensor that sends out an alert to the central control center when it’s time for the lamp to be serviced (Carrington, 2013).
Currently, the team at Tvilight is working to make the system more human so it can change color and create different designs (Carrington, 2013).
- City council
- Traffic control centers
- Neighborhood citizen groups
- University students (Tech/Engineering students)
To implement this intelligent lighting system in a new city, Tvilight would need to:
Step 1: First, put forth a proposal to the Mayor and City Council of the identified city
Step 2: Once the proposal is accepted, it would need to meet with the head of the traffic control centre to jointly implement the system
Step 3: Simultaneously, it would need to conduct meetings with the selected neighborhood citizen groups to help them understand the new street lighting system
Step 4: It would need to partner with local universities so as to get tech/engineering students to help spread awareness about the new system
Step 5: It would need to monitor the system and community feedback so as to enhance the intelligent street lighting experience
Carrington, Daisy (2013), ‘Tvilight: The ‘talking’ streetlamp that will lighten your heart (but not your wallet)’, CNN.com, sourced from http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/18/tech/innovation/tvilight-street-lamps-roosegarde/index.html on November 25, 2017