BME is involved in a unique technological development programme for a lighting system using intelligent LED light sources and solar energy.
„The project’s aim is to create an intelligent public lighting system which operates with renewable, solar energy. The project proposal received 571.2 million Forint funding,” informed us László Prikler from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (VIK), who is the leading researcher of the consortium’s BME research team.
The main components of the system are the LED luminaires, the embedded infocommunication and sensor system and the cloud-based control system, which ensure that luminaires should only switch on when it is needed. “Street lighting may be needed during the daytime on a cloudy, foggy day when visibility is low. This issue is very important regarding traffic safety,” added László Prikler. “During operation the system is able to share information online with a central server about weather conditions and the battery capacities for lighting. The system is also able to control that the power balance of the network should be positive – the system should produce more electricity than the amount it uses. The other factor is to realise that in areas where traffic is relatively low continuous lighting is unnecessary. Although LED luminaires use less energy than older types of incandescent lights, with such an intelligent street lighting system equipped with traffic sensors further 65% energy saving can be reached,” as the lecturer of BME summarized the advantages of the development.
LED: Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a light source made of semiconductor material. The type and colour of light depends on the semiconductor material used; it can range from infrared to ultraviolet. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching.LED: Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a light source made of semiconductor material. The type and colour of light depends on the semiconductor material used; it can range from infrared to ultraviolet. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching.
The new system’s advantage is that it uses renewable energy and it is also able to feed the produced surplus electricity into the state grid or store excess power for times when demand is higher. It is also remarkable that the intelligent system reduces carbon dioxide emission and the increased performance of public lighting improves traffic safety.
The sample project is established in the site of the Central Research Institute for Physics, where researchers are experimenting with luminaires operated according to the actual pedestrian and car traffic. „10 of the prototypes are already in operation, the others are being installed. By the end of the project 150 luminaires will be used on the roads and further 60 on pedestrian pavements,” summarized László Prikler. „Testing will be started in spring 2014 when all the lamps have been installed. The research programme has already been successful: last year two international patent applications were submitted, which is a huge achievement.”
The project is managed by the Hungarian branch of a leading multinational company. GE Hungary regards the research as a market-oriented development programme targeting to create an internationally competitive modular system. „The concept of the research is a very popular issue these days but probably not Hungary will be the primary field to apply the system,” added László Prikler. „In Hungary there are several ongoing development programmes to use LED luminaires for street lighting but such a complex system has not been elaborated or implemented yet. To make things more complicated there is no unified system in the street lighting service; it can be different in each area what organization is responsible for maintaining and operating the street lighting system,” summarized László Prikler. He added that „ a huge market for the system can be the shopping centres, where some places (f.e. parking areas) need only temporary lighting.”
At the University of Technology nine colleagues from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering joined the experiment. As László Prikler said “participating in a project like this has several advantages for the University. We are involved in a complex, innovative project serving the new generations; we strengthen our industry relations, raise additional finances, use technology and equipment that would otherwise not be available due to the tight budget.”
Title of the Project: Developing Embedded Information System for Optimizing Energy-Positive Public Lighting
Costs: The total budget of the project is 900 million Forints, with a 571.2 million Forint contribution of the Research and Technology Innovation Fund (KTIA)
Duration: July 2012 – December 2014
Members of the Consortium and their Resposibilities:
GE Hungary Ltd: leader of the consortium, industrial party, implements the industrial developments
Institute for Computer Science and Control of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences: developing computer-based control system, optimizing energy-flow, forecasting production and consumption
Budapest University of Technology and Economics: energy-management, optimizing the energy consumption of the system, electricity-storing, smart measurements and infocommunication system development, examining synchronizing conditions, security of operation, overvoltage protection, Lightning Protection of Solar panels.
Research Centre for Natural Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences: preparing motion sensors, environment sensors and testing solar panels
Foto: János Philip