Demonstration project along a one-km stretch in 3 months

A demonstration project meant to replace the sodium vapour lights along the Vellayambalam-Vazhuthacaud stretch with Light Emitting Diode (LED)-based streetlights is showing signs of life after a hiatus of five years.

It was first proposed in 2008 by the Energy Management Cell (EMC), functioning under the Power Department. Sources in the cell told The Hindu that they were forced to retender the works, which led to the delay.

Work order

Now, such processes had been completed, and the work order to install 70 lights along the one-kilometre stretch would be issued by the end of this month.

The project was designed to highlight the benefits of the more power-saving option of LED lights. It was sidetracked after the Chennai-based company carrying out the project demanded higher payment in the middle of implementation. Three poles and six lights were installed near the Forest Office Headquarters then.

Once the work order is issued, the project will take only three months to materialise. The 100-watt LED lamps will save over 60 per cent power.

The project is being sponsored by the Union Government agency, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). This project and another initiative of the EMC being sponsored by the BEE were attempts to nudge the city towards a more energy efficient lighting regime, said Johnson Daniel, energy technologist with the EMC.

The technical evaluation of companies who responded to the tender to install 500 LED-based lamps along the Kazhakootam-Kovalam bypass route was also almost complete and the financial bidding would open by July, he said.

Each of these 45-watt lamps would replace the double-tube fittings that fringed the highway. Again, the power consumed would be less than half of the tubes and could make a significant difference in the bills accrued by the city Corporation.

The civic body, however, is still making its choice on which mode of power-saving to employ for the street lights in the city – LEDs or those fuelled by electromagnetic induction – before inviting Expressions of Interest. So, it may time another year before the 84,000 streetlights in the city is switched over to a power-saving mode.

The Corporation limits have benefited from another project of the EMC — to install 100 LED streetlights in 65 municipalities across the State.

This was carried out in the Attukal ward here in January. Ward councillor C. Jayan said there were no complaints about the lamps except that people initially thought they were dimmer.

The EMC also has plans to move towards attaching each light with an almanac-based automatic street lighting system that will ensure no wastage of electricity with on-off timings accurately programmed in.