Acuity Brands announced that it was selected to supply its Roam® remote monitoring system for a street lighting upgrade project in Austin, Texas. The system combines photo-control technology with wireless monitoring and control capabilities and will be used as part of the city's comprehensive outdoor lighting solution. By the project's anticipated completion in 2014, the city will be able to control each of its approximately 70,000 streetlights with the click of a mouse, and estimates that this lighting solution will save more than $1 million annually in combined energy and maintenance costs. The Roam system will be installed and managed by Austin Energy, the area's electric utility.
"Through remote monitoring, we are able to precisely and proactively identify system outages, improve repair and response time, save energy, maintain safety standards, and support the city's green initiatives," said Gary Haydon, PE, power systems engineer at Austin Energy. "This project is another enhancement in the development of Austin Energy's self-reporting Smart Grid."
In August 2010, the Austin City Council approved a comprehensive streetlight monitoring solution. In the project's first phase, Roam wireless controllers are planned to be installed on 3,300 streetlights by the end of this summer. Austin Energy will monitor and control the streetlights using data received every hour from the wireless Roam devices via a web-based communication system.
"As we have done with other municipalities, we are committed to providing the city of Austin with an industry-leading outdoor control solution that will uniquely lower both maintenance and energy costs and allow the city to proactively reduce outage response time," said Terry Utterback, Acuity Brands lighting vice president, outdoor controls.
The city's existing photocell products mounted on streetlights turn on and off when they sense darkness and light. The Roam solution is a direct replacement of the old technology and enhances efficiency, improves reliability, and prolongs the life of an entire streetlight system. One of its many capabilities is that the system allows utilities to be alerted via a web-based portal as to the exact location of streetlights that remain illuminated during the day. Crews can be quickly dispatched to mitigate such problems, limiting the time that fixtures burn during daylight hours. This eliminates a local utility's reliance on residents to call the local utility to report a day burning or malfunctioning fixture.