On Tuesday, the city council of Chattanooga, Tenn., approved a contract proposal to replace existing municipal lights with high efficiency lighting fixtures that incorporate FlexNet wireless remote monitoring and control capabilities from smart grid infrastructure provider, Sensus .
Over the next 16 months, the city will replace existing high-pressure sodium lighting fixtures with 26,000 induction and LED lamps pre-configured with FlexNet wireless endpoints by local manufacturer Global Green Lighting (GGL), says Sensus (Raleigh, N.C., USA).
The full system roll-out was approved after a smaller scale demonstration of GGL's product to light a city park proved successful in 2011. The foundational licensed spectrum wireless technology of the Chattanooga lighting project is identical to FlexNet systems deployed by electric, gas and water utilities to manage smart grid applications. Existing utility deployments of FlextNet can accommodate outdoor lighting control with minor configuration, says the company.
The Sensus-GGL combination includes a complete replacement light assembly that uses either an induction lamp and ballast or light-emitting diode (LED) lamp with an integrated FlexNet radio, providing two-way communication with each lamp in the service territory. Four base stations and antennae will provide the requisite signaling capability. Sensus will host Chattanooga's network via remote servers  from a secure data center, says the company.
A recent study done by the City of Chattanooga and GGL determined that the city can expect $1 million in average annual energy savings over the first ten years by switching to passive LED and induction lighting. Combining LED and induction lighting with the FlexNet technology, the city's new lighting system is expected to generate an average annual savings in energy and maintenance costs of up to $2.7 million.
"The Chattanooga pilot program has clearly shown the remarkable efficiencies gained by retrofitting municipal lighting," said Charlie Nobles, marketing manager for lighting at Sensus . "When you can gain performance, improve public safety and yet cut expenses by up to 70% with a FlexNet radio-equipped assembly, the savings impact on a community budget can be dramatic."
GGL's induction and LED lamps require substantially less current to operate effectively, generally require less maintenance and have a longer life than more traditional HPS lights, says Sensus. HPSs or any other type of lighting fixture that is controlled by photo-electric sensors, poses additional maintenance issues and costs. The FlexNet lighting control system will allow officials to maintain precise operation of each lamp from one location to determine the appropriate output for the area and time of day. They will also know immediately when a light requires maintenance instead of having to rely on visual confirmation from the field.