Trichy Municipal Corporation has set an example for other urban local bodies in the country by implementing an automated energy management system for the city. This has helped the corporation to bring down power consumption by 38 per cent.
The corporation managed the task against impossible odds. Electricity supplies to facilities like streetlights had been manually operated, a difficult task during the monsoon. The corporation also had to monitor non-functioning streetlights, making O&M an impossible manual activity. Further, 50 per cent of the overall power consumption charges went towards street lighting, with no proper system for identification of streetlight poles.
First, the corporation conducted a detailed survey on the existing streetlights, including a study of its historical and present energy consumption trends. Speaking to the Council, N Ravichandran, Trichy Municipal Commissioner, says, “After the survey, a database was created having broad data on existing infrastructure and the conditions for the past three years.”
Through this database, he adds, “We managed to do the assessment of energy losses and energy saving potential.” This led the corporation to prepare a GIS map at the individual lamp control level. With this, a baseline energy consumption benchmark was established for reference for post-implementation measurements and verification.
Installation and implementation
Based on the Investment Grid Audit (IGA) report conducted by Energy Service Company (ESCO), the corporation selected the lamp technology which provided higher luminous efficacy. That apart, the corporation made some structural changes as per BIS standards for ensuring the correct height of fixtures, spacing & arrangement of poles, and angle of tilt.
Then, a total of 26,391 tube-lights (40 W) along the streets were replaced by 20 W LED bulbs, leading to a drastic fall in energy consumption. The corporation has deployed energy efficiency equipment by converting the existing 40 W FTL to 20 W LED lamps and installation of streetlight controllers, voltage controllers and the individual lamp monitoring devices.
A Web-based Central Control Monitoring Centre (CCMC) system was established by completely automating the functioning of the streetlights though streetlight controllers and the individual lamp monitoring system.
Technology and results
Apart from converting 26,391 streetlights, the corporation also installed around 789 voltage controllers, 343 streetlight controllers and 1,479 individual lamp monitoring devices.
Importantly, all these energy efficiency equipment are connected with the CCMC. That apart, GIS mapping has been done for each switch point and each pole, so as to identify the exact locations for tracking.
Now, due to these measures, all the lights are switched on in the scheduled time. Non-burning rate has been reduced from 12 per cent to 4 per cent and 29 per cent of savings in O&M have been achieved against 16 per cent as per the original agreement.
The O&M of all the streetlights will be undertaken by ESCO for a period of 10 years. It ensures that the cleaning of streetlights is done as per the schedule. In addition, a centralised Web-based complaint redressal system has been put in place, to register, redress and track the complaints from citizens.