In practice: Guadalajara's 12,000 LED street light retrofit from Philips

Philips Lighting has this week completed a LED retrofit across the Spanish City of Guadalajara that will help the city council realise huge energy efficiency and carbon savings.

The 12,000 LED retrofit has seen Guadalajara generate immediate electricity savings of approximately 68% compared to the previous lighting system

The 12,000 LED retrofit has seen Guadalajara generate immediate electricity savings of approximately 68% compared to the previous lighting system

Located northeast of Madrid, the city of Guadalajara is anticipating an increase of tourist activity when it becomes the European City of Sport in 2018. The influx in activity is likely to strain current energy infrastructure and new solutions are needed to improve efficiency levels of technologies that tourists and citizens will rely on.

With the city also joining the Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate, whose signatories pledge to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030, technology upgrades must be controllable, adjustable and aligned to with the city’s wider sustainability approach.

The Solution

A big focus on the city-wide transformation was public lighting, which accounts for a high amount of carbon emissions across Guadalajara. Urban lighting, such as traffic lights, control systems and lighting for CCTV camera systems, were all targeted for retrofit.

Philips Lighting announced last week that it had completed an upgrade to the city’s public lighting infrastructure. In total, 12,000 Philips connected LED street lights have been fitted across the city streets.

Completed with the help of energy services provider Ferrovial Services – which is subsequently examining and providing feedback on city-wide climate targets – the retrofit also uses the Philips CityTouch system to precisely monitor, control and manage the entire lighting network through an Internet of Things (IoT) connected web browser.

The Guadalajara City Council wanted flexibility to not only manage the lighting points network, but also the 198 street cabinets located throughout the city. Using the CityTouch system meant that these control cabinets could be managed for the first time.

The Benefits

The 12,000 LED retrofit has seen Guadalajara generate immediate electricity savings of approximately 68% compared to the previous lighting system and has reduced carbon emissions by 4,200 tonnes.

The 85,000 residents of Guadalajara will now be at reduced risk of power outages, as the system can monitor control of the street cabinets – which provide power to the lights – for the first time. The monitoring system is expected to save time and money on city services, although amounts have not been disclosed.

The CityTouch system will help Energy Service Company’s (ECOs) manage power consumption from the grid in a more precise manner, helping the services improve energy efficiency, reduce consumption and save money.

The smart application enables the ECOs to control each light individually or cluster them together in custom groups. This means that if a tourism event was held in one part of the city, the CityTouch solution could tailor output to increase the brightness of that area. Custom diming schedules can also be set, and these can be managed in real time.

Data graphs can be sourced from the web browser to visualise where savings have been made. Single light points can be compared as well as entire city districts. The CityTouch system also saves historical data on energy usage, quantifies the effect of energy-saving initiatives and will ensure the city only pays for the energy it consumes.

The Future

As mentioned, Guadalajara joined the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The targeted 40% emissions reduction by 2030 must be accompanied by a comprehensive strategy that addresses both climate change mitigation and smart technology adaptation.

Even though the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces recommends that strategies cover transport, residential sector electricity and waste, Guadalajara’s City Council is rolling out a more ambitious strategy that accounts for the adoption and integration of renewables and emissions associated with water management.

Monitoring energy consumption will be crucial in the immediate future, and it is believed that improved data management will allow the city to integrate more renewable energy.

“We were keen to implement a sustainable public lighting system that not only provides our citizens and visitors with the light they need today but which is also scalable and flexible to meet the future needs of our city. What we now have is a smart new digital infrastructure that gives us the option to connect sensors and offer smart city functionality if we so wish,” said Antonio Román, Mayor at Guadalajara City Council.

As for Philips Lighting, the company has already deployed smart city solutions in municipalities such as Tenerife, the Canary Islands and in Germany, as well as large-scale retrofits in Los Angeles. Currently, CityTouch is used in LA to manage more than 100,000 street lights.

Although specific projects are yet to be announced, Philips Lighting is keen to contribute to city-wide energy reduction plans through the utilisation of its technology, and will likely announce more projects in the near future.

Matt Mace


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