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Intellectual automation is a key to energy-saving in city street lighting systems

Russian Federation has the world's biggest technical potential to increase energy-efficiency rate that reaches 40% of energy consumption level. That is why the most relevant task for today is sustainable process of increasing energy-efficient consumption in various sectors of residential utilities, particularly in the street lighting systems, which comprises 35-40% of total city energy consumption.

The integration of new technologies in street light control systems allows to achieve considerable reduction in energy consumption. Not only upgrading the street lighting systems and energy-saving remains an issue for discussion, but there are problems of maintenance expenses reduction and provision of high-quality lighting to be solved as well. According to our estimations, budgetary funds saving potential in the process of complex upgrading of street lighting systems reaches 50% and more.

Let us look at general factors of energy-saving in the existing city street lighting systems:

  • in case of replacement of outdated luminaires with DRL lamp with DNaT type - saving potential amounts to 40%;
  • in case of strict lighting schedule compliance with the help of integration of automated supervisory control system - energy saving potential amounts to 10-15%;
  • in case of use of electronic starting and regulating devices, as a part of automated supervisory control systems, with brightness reduction function during night operations - energy-saving potential amounts to 34-45%;
  • in case of use of light-emitting diode luminaire - energy-saving potential is 50% and more.

Typical structure of modern street lighting control system comprises three levels:

  1. higher level – control center with automated user working places on basis of PCs, connected to data base server;
  2. middle level – automated power stations of lighting lines, equipped with contactless commutation hardware and intellectual command controllers with communications devices, connected to control center (generally, GSM/GPRS-modems);
  3. field level – energy-saving DNaT luminaires with electronic starting and regulating device or light-emitting diode luminaires with brightness control.

Let us name principal function of modern ASCS of street lighting:

  • automated lighting control through everyday 4-mode schedule with adjustment to "clear" and "gray" day weather pattern;
  • dispatching control and monitoring of lighting parameters, including record-keeping for emergency situations and access violation to power supply units;
  • electronic protection of commutation hardware from exceeding the permissible load currents, monitoring of exterior line voltages;
  • individual monitoring of luminaires status and its steady brightness control.

In the years 2010–2011 the pilot project of energy-efficient outdoor lighting for campus buildings with the use of light-emitting diode luminaires and brightness adjustment function, controlled via power line, has been realized in accordance with the technical requirements on the basis of South Urals State University (National Research University) (Chelyabinsk city). Controlled power consumption has been reduced by 50% in night hours. Total energy consumption for lighting purposes during project's realization has been reduced by 2.5 times.

The core of control system is monitoring software of «PoliTER» automated supervisory control system. "PoliTER" automated supervisory control system is a unique, scale-adjustable SCADA-system, designed for control of all kinds of residential and industry utilities (heat power supply, water supply, energy supply, lighting). "PoliTER" ASCS can be integrated into other automation solutions (payment processing centers, payment and accounting systems and etc.). Flexible structure of "PoliTER" ASCS data representation allows to create user applications that meets customer's requirements and provides user-friendly interface. The most distinctive feature of "PoliTER" ASCS is its built-in instruments of real-time on-line analysis of quality and energy-efficiency of technological processes.

To this date, the creative partnership of the companies ADS Energiya and NRS SUSU has successfully finished a variety of projects on automation in industry and residential utilities sectors on the basis of "PoliTER" ASCS, including energy-efficient upgrade of the street lighting systems in Chelyabinsk and Chelyabinsk district cities. Modern contactless automated lightning power line units are being extensively used for the purpose of realization of control functions, as well as embeddable into existing lighting cabinets automation units, equipped with modules of individual command and luminaire brightness control with data transfer via power lines.

Expenses, involved in realization of complex project of energy-efficient street lighting systems upgrade on the basis of operating DNaT-type lamps, amounts to about 7 000 – 8 000 rubles per 1 luminaire. Project's payback period depends mainly on energy prices and comes to 2.5 years.

We invite for mutually beneficial cooperation utilities managing companies, industrial organizations, which use extensive networks of street lighting.

Schnayder Dmitriy Aleksandrovich
Doctor of Engineering, professor of automation and control department, South Urals State University, National Research University,
research supervisor of ADS Energiya, LLC.

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