Energy Wastage by Traditional Street Lamps

  • Surya Prasad S, Harshak Krishnaa K, Ajay Ramanan G V, Jai Balaje S
  • The old, conventional system of leaving the street lamps on throughout the night causes unnecessary wastage of power. They are also subject to power-cuts and blackouts, thus darkening the entire area as a whole. However, we cannot completely eliminate the need for street lamps. Thus, on streets and highways, we need to avoid permanent lighting in the area wherever possible. Immediate backup systems require generator setups and they require periodical refueling too. This is strenuous when it has to be done for a large number of street lamps. As for the traditional street lamps, they operate based on the heating effect. If we were to take the metrics as lumens/Watt (Le/Wi), prevalent street lamps only have 15 units, whereas LEDs have 200 units of lumens/watt. This intensity may always not be needed, and since LEDs take up much lesser energy and do not waste the same as much as the tungsten lamps, the excess energy could be used elsewhere. (Src: https://ies.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl6576e.pdf). This wastage needs to be controlled and the existing system, revamped.

  • Our target audience encompasses drivers, pedestrians, animals, and obstacles who use the road after dark. 

    The residents of the area are the beneficiaries as well. This project also provides aesthetic appeal as well. 

    Our contributors/ partners would be the Government if we were to sell this as a product.

  • We propose a Smart Street System, where we implement a solar-powered LED street lamp with variable intensity. It also hosts a thermal sensor to detect passerby vehicles and also, a storage unit to store the excess solar power. The main objective of this project is to conserve energy and also at the same time, maximize the usage of renewable energy sources. By reducing the usage of lighting after dark, energy can be conserved which can be later used to power up the nearby CCTV cameras or will join the highway electricity lines. Also, the usage of solar energy boosts up a major advantage by not using fuel sources. LED lights consume little power compared to conventional lighting systems. Hence power consumption is reduced.

    The cost of operation for a single conventional lamp, for a month, amounts to Rs.172.8 per month. However, the model only takes up a one-time installation cost of Rs. 720 + casing charges. After that, excluding the maintenance charges, the overall costs are very minimal compared to the traditional street lamp.  However, the overall effort taken to maintain the unit is very minimal and would withstand wear and tear for long durations.

  • Let us take Lucy. She is an office-goer who works late into the night. On one such night, she drives past the usual route and suddenly finds the area around her in a power-cut situation. She injures a stray dog on the road, in her attempt to bring her vehicle to a halt. 

    After the implementation, a dim amount of light is present throughout the road, and whenever living subjects approach the sensor area, the Thermal sensors kick in. Now, Lucy sees the single lamp lighting the area around the dog, and she slows down, guessing/seeing the presence of the dog nearby.

November 14, 2019

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