New applications are being implemented to save money on public lighting. The city of tomorrow is reinventing itself between sidewalks capable of detecting our movements and lighting on demand, technology allows us to save money.
In the field of public lighting, technology could allow us to make big savings. If in some cities it was decided to turn off public lighting, residents can use an app to reactivate it on demand.
Lighting on demand
Turn off the lights at night, but allow residents to turn on street lights when you need them, directly from an app on your smartphone. In one click, just like you would use a switch in your living room, this is the work done by the “I light up my street” app.
It’s a Norman start-up that came up with this brilliant idea, which is already implemented in some municipalities, such as Lisieux (Calvados), Urrugne (Pyrenees-Atlantiques), Saint Brieuc From this month.
So, when you’re on the street, leaving a restaurant for example or walking the dog late at night, you open the app.
Press the “bulb” button: nearby street lights light up around you, as if by magic. In fact, they are small boxes installed in electrical cabinets that allow this. They will be on for five, ten, fifteen minutes, and can be configured by the municipality or the community.
But once you activate the lighting, the app will geolocate you and follow you to turn on street lights depending on the streets you pass through.
Several advantages: obviously allows you to save money (in Urrugne, 10,000 inhabitants, 35,000 euros since the beginning of the year.
With the continued price explosion, savings are expected to be even greater. This will also make it possible to combat light pollution, which scares away certain animals, rodents, hedgehogs and bats.
Lighting on demand, which also allows citizens to be involved in managing the city and its budget.
Street lighting: a huge source of electricity consumption across the country
This represents 12% of French electricity consumption: a large expense and therefore a potential saving for a municipality of around 30%.
Among the options mentioned by the government are reducing light intensity and ensuring that municipalities are equipped with LED lighting, which consumes less (but represents an investment).
But there are other devices, namely street lamps that only come on if there is traffic.
Sensors placed on street lampslike in Toulouse, they go out when there is no one to light them and they come back on when someone passes by.
They are able to detect and differentiate between a car, a pedestrian or a cyclist, which can drastically reduce the bill electric.
We are right in the middle of the topic of smart, more energy-efficient cities.
Sidewalks capable of recovering energy from our movements
Imagine the energy released by thousands of passersby on a shopping street in a large city.
If we recovered this energy and transformed it into electricity to power street lights or advertising panels, for example, we saw experiences in this area flourish for several years.
The British Pavegen, for example, developed podoelectric panels, which transform thekinetic energy released by the movements of passersby into electrical energy.
They are mounted on small springs and each time you mount them you release energy.
On each slab you have batteries, which will store the energy released during the day and use it at night.
On the square in front of Saint Omer station, in Pas-de-Calais, for example, about fifteen tiles power street lamps or even electronic billboards. Each step is capable of shining a street light for 30 seconds.
It is estimated that this type of technology could reduce external electricity consumption by a third. There are other applications for this technology: for example, football stadiums powered by the movement of players and fans.