A smart city is one which is equipped with basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment through application of some smart solutions. This entails assured water and electricity supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, robust IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation, safety and security of citizens.
The prime minister of India has proposed to set up 100 smart cities across the country and Smart Cities Council India has already been formed. A city challenge competition will determine the 100 cities which will get a Central Fund of Rs 100 crore each for 5 years; each state will have atleast one smart city.
Area-based development will include retrofitting of 500 acres, redevelopment of 50 acres and Greenfield 250 acres. Public information, grievance redressal, electronic service delivery, citizens’ engagement, waste to energy & fuel, waste to compost, 100% treatment of waste water, smart meters & management, monitoring water quality, renewable source of energy, efficient energy and green building, smart parking, intelligent traffic management system are the multiple areas that will be addressed in the project.
Safe and energy-efficient lighting systems: Providing functional and sustained lighting of public squares, streets, buildings, offices, etc. is one of the amenities offered by a smart city. The lighting solution needs to be cost cutting, provide maximum energy efficiency, and ensure better quality of life and safety. The extremely long life, the dynamic adaptation of light, high level of efficiency and many other factors make LED lighting systems suitable for these smart cities. The aesthetic shape and the individual design of modern LED luminaires can also improve the city’s image significantly.
Smart City with Regard to Lighting
The cumbersome traditional street lights have made way for smarter, intelligent street lighting solutions which allow municipalities to control lighting zones through a number of unique features. One of them is to adjust lighting levels by adapting to the movement of pedestrians, cyclists and cars. They dim when no activity is detected and brighten when there is movement. This type of lighting is different from general dimmable street lighting that dims at pre-determined times.
Smart LED street lights come with the advantage of using LEDs that offer additional advantages when it comes to smart city street lighting such as the reduced lifetime operating costs through lower energy use, cheaper maintenance and improved safety, security, and comfort when compared to traditional light sources.
Keeping in mind that Smart City specifies a town or city that networks one or several supply systems, controls these via software and achieves significant savings in resources and costs due to control according to requirements, LED luminaires linked together in a network can be individually controlled using light management software. The software determines the intensity of light at a particular place, at a particular time according to the areas requirement.
Future urban LED solutions can involve new services for citizens where lantern posts become multi-functional stations which serve as data stations with sensors, monitor parking spaces or even recharge electric car batteries. Royal Philips and the City of San Jose officially announced a project late last year to pilot 50 Philips SmartPoles, which bring together energy efficient LED lighting and fully integrated 4G LTE wireless technology by Ericsson. This pilot was initiated through the City’s Demonstration Partnership Policy, which was established to support the City’s Economic Development Strategy and City operations. Philips SmartPoles enable seamless mobile wireless 4G/LTE connectivity. Small cell technology from Ericsson housed in the poles provides increased data capacity in the mobile network ensuring that citizens get improved data coverage. Philips SmartPoles were specifically designed and tested to accept FCC licensed wireless mobile network operator equipment. This enables an alternative deployment methodology for 4G LTE broadband services which streamlines, standardizes and broadens the capacity for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and allows for increased innovation in Smart City technology to benefit the citizens of San Jose.
Out of the many solutions that have been proposed for smart city lighting is the Cisco Smart+Connected City Lighting solution. This includes always-connected LED-based lights, central management system that intelligently adjusts settings based on events from other systems and sensors, and smart applications that field personnel can use to control and monitor the system. The end result is reduced energy costs, improved operational efficiencies and asset management, and environmental sustainability through reduced carbon emissions.
According to a new study published by Northeast Group, LLC, there are currently more than 2,000 LED and smart streetlight projects globally and with rapidly falling costs and clear benefits, there has been a sharp increase in the number and scale of LED and smart streetlight projects in the past year. Among the many cities undertaking larger-sized deployments is Los Angeles which announced it would network the 140,000 LED streetlights it recently deployed. The increase in the number of deployments has seen fierce competition and new partnerships forming between vendors across the value chain. Acuity, Bridgelux, Cooper, Cree, Echelon, Elster, GE, Itron, Osram, Philips, Schreder, Sensus, Silver Spring Networks and Toshiba are among the major vendors in the market.
Green Building & Energy Efficiency
Energy has emerged as a critical economic issue and buildings are on the front line of this issue because of their high consumption of energy. Studies have repeatedly shown that efficient buildings and appropriate land use offer opportunities to save money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.
The Indian Government has come up with numerous energy efficiency initiatives like Green Buildings by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC), Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), star ratings by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, etc. for employment of green technologies in buildings.
India is amongst the few countries spearheading the green building movement worldwide with over 3,124 registered green building projects and over 60 LEED platinum certified constructions (the highest certification for energy efficient green construction). Some of the top green buildings in India include: CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad; CRISIL House, Mumbai; Infosys Limited, Mysore; Infinity Benchmark, Kolkata; Suzlon One Earth, Pune; Patni (i-GATE) Knowledge Center, Noida; and Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.
Intelligent Building Lighting
Transformation from florescent lighting to the more efficient and flexible LED lighting has broadly expanded the market for lighting controls. According to Navigant Research, global networked lighting controls revenue is expected to grow from $2.2 billion in 2015 to $4.8 billion in 2024.
Building energy codes largely drive the adoption of more basic lighting controls such as occupancy sensors and photo sensors. Building lighting in smart cities however will be characterized by power grids that will be able to balance electricity supply and demand. This will start with buildings that learn occupants’ energy needs, integrate vehicle batteries into their energy forecasts, respond to changing weather conditions, and automatically alter their behavior to maximize their efficiency.
Siemens has developed a building automation system known as Desigo CC that allows all building systems concerning fire protection, heat, ventilation and climate control, lighting, video surveillance etc. to be integrated into a single platform that can be operated intuitively.
Siemens is also working on a project in the U.S. which illustrates how intelligent buildings can help in achieving stable grids and a lower level of energy demand. A building was equipped with a “Smart Energy Box” which could shut down specific individual consumers such as lighting or air conditioning systems. The process takes into account factors such as the anticipated electricity price, the weather forecast, and standard values for a good indoor climate to keep productivity up. This conserves energy and saves money, while maintaining the proper level of comfort for building occupants. The system can also lower energy demand outside of peak load times.
Private Industry’s Involvement with Smart Cities
Smart city initiatives are opening up new revenue streams for the private industry leading to a number of collaborations between private companies and municipalities on developing ways to make cities more livable, sustainable and resilient.
Universities and technology companies, such as Amazon, Google and Tesla, are building entire businesses that leverage and extend infrastructure built by utilities and regulated by local and federal entities. These entities thrive by layering innovative technology advancements onto existing services and continue to push the boundaries of smart infrastructure. They are taking their energy destiny into their own hands, complementing utility-fed power with net-zero initiatives that include on-site renewable generation, microgrids, energy efficiency programs and investments in carbon reduction projects.
Successful privately-backed infrastructure projects can bring a steady ROI for many years. Playing on the same lines is Hong Kong’s Wise City scheme where the business and investment community are taking the lead on smart city planning, while private entities have taken on funding roles. Such schemes are closely being monitored by business and cities alike eager to benefit from the outcome.