Delta’s smart street lighting serves the needs of the public

Text by: BABG

The connection of applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) has driven the layout and development of smart cities all over the world. Among them, the street lighting system, a city’s essential infrastructure, has gradually transformed from purely lighting streets to taking the pulse of the smart city. Delta began the development of its LED Smart Street Lighting Solution in 2010, and has since installed more than 600,000 LED streetlights around the world, with more than half in Taiwan, of which 10% are smart streetlights. The success of its Smart Street Lighting Solutions spans from Taoyuan, to New Taipei City and Taipei, all the way to Penghu Island, as well as to overseas markets, such as Jakarta, Indonesia.

From being an underdog to winning the tender, Delta has built its street lighting brand value through “service”
Senior manager Su Wen-Jie of Delta’s Building Automation Business Unit recalled the initial stage when Delta entered the smart street lighting market. In spite of having won hundred million dollar tenders for Penghu, Kaohsiung, Tainan and Hsinchu projects since 2011, no one in the market could link the Delta brand to LED street lights. In 2014, during the tender for New Taipei City’s low-carbon green city project, Taiwan’s biggest LED street light project, Delta had yet to receive recognition from the industry. However, through its internal and external resource integration as well as the team’s full support, Delta stood out and won LED energy-efficient street light tenders for 13 administrative districts in the northern region of New Taipei City. Altogether Delta installed more than 100,000 lights, for a total amount exceeding NTD900 million.

The New Taipei City project differed from the streetlight hardware upgrades of the past, since Delta would need to provide residents with streetlight maintenance services from the very beginning. Su Wen-Jie shared that during the tender, Delta needed to prove its ability to provide complete local maintenance services. So the team went into the streets, listened to the needs of the residents and village heads, visited local vendors, and conducted constant face-to-face communication to win the trust of the labor crew. Apart from a contract relationship, they also established a partner relationship to work together to provide services that meet the expectations of the village heads. This enabled Delta to win the tender among the leading vendors both locally and overseas.

The project manager, Cai Yong-Xiang, who is in charge of Delta’s smart street light project, explained that they were always formally attired in suit and tie to present project reports to the relevant city government agencies that shared the benefits of smart street lighting. However, when on-site, suit and tie no longer worked. They would roll up their sleeves and change into T-shirt and jeans to humbly blend with the local vendors, and win the trust and be able to work together with the labor crew. Rain or shine and under pressure, they would try their best to meet project deadlines, and provide annual maintenance based on the warranty of the contract. The ups and downs of the project are difficult to describe in simple terms.

Rain or shine and under the pressure of contractual deadlines, Delta’s team needed to win the trust and cooperate with local vendors to complete the job

When the Delta team encountered natural environmental or local custom restrictions, it would provide services to suit the local conditions. For example, the team discovered that due to a strong northeast monsoon, Penghu’s sea breezes contain a high salt concentration. Such environmental characteristics would easily cause damage to normal streetlights from salt erosion. When planning the location of smart streetlights, they would select places that were a certain distance away from the ocean to reduce damage due to sea breeze corrosion, ensuring the investment return of these infrastructures.

For Delta, providing customers with complete services through solutions is an innovative challenge. Su Wen-Jie said, “It is not possible to win a tender through the efforts of a single person. Instead, it requires the cooperation of product development, business correspondence, project execution and material scheduling of the business units. The team also needs to conduct constant and in-depth communication with the group’s internal functional units, breaking away from past ODM/OEM business models, and providing services from the solution perspective.” They conducted regular evaluations to satisfy the maintenance service and product quality of the contract, and to meet the “on-quality, on-time” requirements of the contract and customers.

Smart street lighting takes the city’s pulse, supporting more convenient lifestyles for residents
Delta’s Smart Street Lighting Solution integrates energy-efficient lighting, IoT devices, and information and communications technologies, to provide innovative value-added services on top of basic street lighting. These services include charging stations, micro weather stations, pole sharing with traffic lights, interactive touch screens, and more. It introduces new ideas for the development of smart cities, turning streetlights into important nodes for collecting big data on the urban environment.

A smart street lighting management platform facilitates remote monitoring and automatically reports breakdowns, which not only reduces the maintenance schedule for street light during downtime, but also provides residents with better lighting service

Delta’s Smart Street Lighting Solution is recognized by customers due to Delta’s integration technologies and the capabilities of its smart city management platform. Its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers complete services ranging from data integration, big data database, user management, and more. On its extensible platform, it provides Software as a Service (SaaS) smart city applications, such as environment monitoring, equipment maintenance, and others. Delta provides customized services based on a customer’s actual requirements, and continuously expands various applications based on the smart city’s future plans.

Delta’s Smart Street Lighting Solution provides environmental sensing which gathers the city’s day-to-day data such as temperature and humidity, wind direction, wind speed, and more, to be used as parameters for controlling smart lighting.

Among its success stories, Delta’s Smart Street Lighting Solution is comprised of the following IoT applications:
1. Environmental sensing: The management platform gathers the city’s day-to-day data such as temperature and humidity, wind direction, wind speed, rainfall, optical radiation, ultraviolet rays, noise, PM2.5, PM10, and more, to be used as parameters for controlling smart lighting. During insufficient lighting on rainy days or due to thick fog as a result of PM2.5, it can automatically control and increase LED streetlight brightness, increasing the safety of pedestrians and drivers.
2. Human and traffic detection: Human and traffic detection cameras by VIVOTEK, a subsidiary of Delta, are installed at main road junctions, to compile statistics of vehicle categories, direction and volume, and human flow for the day. This makes use of big data to analyze results and conduct smart control. For example, during the early morning when the total volume of vehicles and pedestrians is reduced to 10% of the normal volume, the LED streetlight’s brightness can be automatically reduced to 70%. This not only meets brightness regulations for urban roads, but also reduces light pollution during the night, saves electricity, and establishes traffic relief policies based on the data.
3. Smart street lighting management platform: This platform links up with the agencies’ existing smart street lighting systems, and incorporates them into the platform for maintenance management, remote monitoring and automatic report on breakdowns. It not only reduces the maintenance schedule for streetlight during downtime, but also provides residents better lighting service.

For the Taoyuan City LED lighting system project, Delta Electronics replaced nearly 13,000 LED streetlights, including approximately 6,500 smart control-type LEDs. Delta’s smart LED street lighting management platform offers functions such as remote monitoring, maintenance management, and streetlight control and saves more than 70% energy compared to traditional mercury lighting, plus an annual electricity savings of nearly NTD 18 million.

Integrating into local culture, reshaping the city’s unique image
With its rich experience and reliable maintenance management capabilities, the Delta team goes one step further by incorporating smart street lighting into city development, making it a highlight for shaping the integration of local culture and technologies. For example, Delta optimized the pedestrian environment for residents in the western region of Taipei City, by upgrading street lights around Taipei Station at the road junctions of Yanping South Road, Gongyuan Road and Changde Street, to a smart lighting system. The street lights complement the imagery of North Gate, integrating with the cluster of historical buildings, and reshaping the nostalgic atmosphere of the western region.

The smart streetlights of Taipei’s western region complement the image of North Gate, integrating with the cluster of historical buildings, and reshaping the historical ambience

The smart street lighting project for the Taipei Science and Art Park has the National Taiwan Science Education Center as a neighbor with its rich educational value. The smart lighting installed at the road junctions incorporates wind power generation and solar power generation. It also provides charging stations, and is equipped with interactive screens for passersby to obtain direct environment information such as the current ultraviolet rays, wind direction, wind speed, and more.

The smart lightings installed at the road junctions of Taipei Science and Art Park, which neighbors National Taiwan Science Education Center, possess educational values as they incorporate wind power generation and solar power generation, and are equipped with interactive screens

Delta’s smart street lighting applications have branched out from the scope of the city, taking it a step further with application to the smart management of traffic lighting between cities. In 2018, Delta undertook a national freeway smart control LED street lighting project and implemented a wireless and wired smart street lighting control system at the Guanxi Interchange and the Jiadong Interchange respectively. The system integrates two monitoring systems into one smart monitoring platform, increasing management efficiency.

With the rapid development of a new generation of communication technologies, success story experience, and continuous research and development, Delta’s Smart Street Lighting Solution has become an indispensable infrastructure element for the smart city blueprint of various regions. It provides residents with a more convenient and safer lifestyle, and assists government agencies in integrating systems such as sewer monitoring, Wi-Fi hot spot, environmental sensing, and more. By gradually achieving its vision for a smart city, Delta continues to create a more humane urban living environment.