The UN World Climate Conference 2017, taking place from November 6 through 17 in Bonn, Germany, is highly anticipated. The need to reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emission to stop global warming and climate change seems to be more urgent than ever before. Governments meet these days to explore the possibilities to achieve ambitious climate and energy goals of the Paris climate agreement. For the city of Bonn the ideal point in time to launch its Smart City project.
Intelligent Systems Save Operating Costs
There are many ways that can contribute to a healthier environment. The deployment of renewable energies such as using solar or wind energy will come to the minds immediately. Driving zero-emission cars most likely too. But also more complex systems like Smart Cities, with a variety of smaller projects can mean a lot for the challenge of climate change control. Intelligent traffic systems, smarter power grids or urban farming can be mentioned here, for example. But also the reduction of energy consumption, respectively a smarter usage of energy resources, needs to be realized. Up to 60% of operating cost can be saved by the installation of smart street light systems.
That’s the plan the city of Bonn is pursuing with the launch of its Smart City project. To the measures belong the installation of smart waste management, where sensors measure the fill level of containers and tell the municipal utilities when to empty them. Street lighting can be equipped with efficient and economic LED. And there’s more possibilities.
NarrowBand-IoT for Smart City
The leading European telecommunication provider Deutsche Telekom connects the street lights of the Bonn city centre by installing sensors using NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) technology. NB-IoT is RF communication technology especially designed for IoT applications with big data volumes like Smart City solutions. Exchanging existing or installing complete new lamps however would be too expensive for local authorities. This aspect was considered by the Romanian company Flashnet, which develops NB-IoT controllers. Its innovative streetlight control solution inteliLIGHT® has been chosen for the implementation of the Bonn Smart City project. It allows existing lighting installations to convert into modern and proactive setups.
Architecture for Smart City
The “update” is an interplay between a couples of components. NB-IoT compatible controllers, lighting panel control & monitoring unit and street light control software will be provided by Flashnet. Deutsche Telekom provides the necessary GSM infrastructure. Centrepiece however are the controllers that enable individual remote management of street light lamps. They are equipped with light level sensors and adaptive lighting capabilities based on digital input for motion sensing. Street lights become dimmable. Motion sensors ensure that the luminaires darken or lighten automatically.
Besides dimming capabilities the inteliLIGHT® system enables the city management to gain awareness and control over the entire street lighting grid. This means that scheduling and maintenance applications can be improved. And because the street lighting grid remains powered up also during the day, power and communication resources can be provided for additional IoT devices and applications.
Smart Cities Against Climate Change
As more and more people will move in cities, and cities account for about 75% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, urban areas need to become smarter and more intelligent and at the same time environmental friendly. Initiatives like the Bonn Smart City project are one step into the right direction. More have to follow so the ambitious climate and energy goals can be achieved. There’s no time to waste. It will be interesting to see if the participants of the UN World Climate Conference recognize this and find solutions to save the planet from a dramatic climate change.
If you are planning a Smart City project too and need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact EBV here.