Streetlamps are designed for safety and security. What if a streetlamp knew when someone was approaching and would brighten in your presence? That could be very possible. A new system developed by a student in the Netherlands could reduce municipality energy bills by as much as 80 percent, according to experts.
A streetlamp system, known as Tvilight, brightens for approaching people, bicycles, and cars. It is a growing trend in parts of Europe where some municipalities have already incorporated the popular streetlamps. According to reports, these lamps can be set to change color or provide various lighting effects.
Tvilight was invented by a Dutch designer named Christian Shah while he was still a student at Delft University of Technology of the Netherlands. While flying, he noticed operating streetlights shining on empty, desolate streets. He then began researching to determine the cost of wasted energy and how such waste could be prevented.
According to reports, Shah determined that Europe alone spends more than $13 billion per year powering streetlights, which totals approximately 40 percent of all government energy bills. To sum it up, that equals more than 40 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, which basically could operate 20 million cars. From that point on, he knew his desire was to create an intelligent lighting system that provides lighting on demand by using wireless sensors. The result is street lights remaining dim until they are needed — when there is a presence of a person, a bicycle, or a car.
Shah’s technology is so advanced; the sensors can distinguish between a person and a small animal, such as a cat. Thus, prevent the lights from coming on unnecessarily. Entering his creation in a campus competition and winning, Delft University gave the student the opportunity to use their facilities to create an on-campus demonstration. The lighting system has been implemented in four municipalities in Holland and one in Ireland. More cities are expected to follow suit and install Tvilight in the near future.
In addition to slashing energy costs and CO2 emissions, Shah said the maintenance expenses are reduced by another 50 percent because of the integrated wireless sensor which notifies a central control center when it is time for the lamps to be serviced. He indicates the company has had inquiries from all around the globe; so many more energy efficient cities may be popping up in the near future.
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