On March 15th, the results of the CANDELA PROJECT, one of the most ambitious innovation programs in smart street lighting (“smartlighting””), and with the highest levels of funding within the current European scene, were presented at the Faculty of Optics and Optometry of the University of Santiago. The results exemplify the potential of the Galician production system to combine synergies between companies and institutions that are highly specialised in various technological fields, from telecommunications to the manufacture of LED luminaires, through the digitalisation of infrastructure and software engineering.
With a project team of 48 people, a research budget of 1.5 million euros between 2017 and 2018 and 11.3 million euros in technological assets and intellectual property, the Candela consortium has been underpinned by the Ministry of Economy, Employment and Industry, co-financed by the Galician Innovation Agency and promoted by the University of Vigo, Insitu, Itelsis, Gradiant Technology Centre, Inteco and finally, Setga, acting as the leader of the consortium.
The objective of this R&D project has been to solve bottlenecks and existing deficiencies throughout the life cycle of a public lighting project, from the time the infrastructure is audited to the end of the life of the installed LED luminaires, by integrating the latest digital technologies, such as Lidar vehicles, big data, IoT, and new LED technologies.
In this way, the total operation time will be reduced by 99%, as the initial audits and light calculations will be executed automatically when exporting the data obtained by the lidar vehicle to a new light software that Dialux will relay.
Finally, once the infrastructure has been executed, the same lidar vehicle will be able to implement a verifying audit on the light parameters every year, instantly correcting potential real deviations experienced by variables such as light flow or colour temperature thanks to the possibility of connecting remotely with interactive LED luminaires with dynamic targets, a technology that does not currently exist in the market. This advance represents an unprecedented step since the life and colour behavior of the LEDs has been estimated using theoretical models, as no manufacturer has developed a luminaire that operates for 25 years.
The Candela project takes place in a complex global context where, according to the prestigious consultant McKinsey, despite the growth of the market, the European public lighting industry destroys thousands of jobs a year due to the uncontrolled entry of Asian products into the market. If Galicia were to renew its 600,000 points of public lighting, opting for technological systems such as Candela, developed and manufactured entirely within the region, it would be possible to generate employment in this sector of 3000 jobsaccording to an investigation carried out by ESADE (1 annual contract for every 200 renewed street lamps), all without counting the leverage effect that this would generate in terms of exports. In fact, the members of the consortium have demonstrated the ability to compete in the most demanding foreign markets. Their technological products are present in the ESA (European Space Agency), Amsterdam City Council, Milan, the port of Rotterdam and 76 other European City Councils, and have the confidence of large international infrastructure and telecommunications companies.