Ville de Québec smartens its street lights

San Jose, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 26, 2007 – Historic Canadian city, Ville de Québec, has “smartened” its streetlighting system with technology to manage and reduce energy consumption at times of peak demand.

Echelon Corporation’s LonWorks® power line technology and i.LON® Internet Server technology provides remote control and monitoring of the streetlight system, enabling lights to be dimmed or switched off during critical times upon request from the utility.

To date the system has been installed in approximately 200 streetlights in the historical district of the city as a trial project, with a planned installation of another 800 streetlights by early 2008. Long term, Ville de Québec plans to convert at least 1,000 lamps per year to the new system over the next ten years.

Managed street lights have been a largely European phenomenon driven by the high cost of energy pressuring limited civic budgets. The Ville de Québec pilot is the first LonWorks streetlight system in North America and is saving 30 percent on energy use compared to the previous system.

Guy Carignan, manager of the streetlight development team for the Ville de Québec, said that the city views energy management as an application applied to the network. “This means we reap additional benefits beyond energy management. For instance, the system helps us reduce maintenance and inventory costs by dimming lights in the middle of the night, so lamps last longer. We also know when lights are likely to burn out and when they do, we know their location. This allows us to intelligently schedule preventive and replacement maintenance to lower costs and increase public safety throughout the area.”

Anders Axelsson, Echelon’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said that streetlighting is a large consumer of energy for cities, typically using up to 40 percent of a city’s energy budget. “If every city installed a similar system, this would go a long way to reducing energy use worldwide and therefore reducing carbon dioxide levels.”

The monitored streetlight solution enables control through the power line network, with embedded power line transceivers communicating with the i.LON Internet Server, which in turn communicates with monitoring software installed on a central computer back at the control center that records energy consumption, lamp status and fault information of each individual streetlight. This level of detailed information significantly reduces maintenance costs.

Echelon has recently announced the availability of a new i.LON SmartServerTM, which is optimized for street light applications, in December 2007.