Controllers installed in halide lamps affected by voltage fluctuation on Cenotaph Road flyover

Spurred by an increasing number of complaints from motorists about poorly-lit stretches, the Corporation of Chennai is set to conduct a power audit on city roads. There are a total of 2.13 lakh street lights in the 15 zones of the Corporation.

Initially, flyovers and bridges will be studied as good visibility is more important on these facilities.

“On an experimental basis, the Chennai Corporation has installed 42 special controllers inside metal halide lamps on Cenatoph Road flyover to maintain uniform lighting at all times,” said Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy.

The controllers have been working for a week now. Along with providing uniform light output, they have helped reduce power consumption by 40 per cent. “We received many complaints about poor lighting on this flyover. The controllers may also be installed on high mast lamps to make them perform better,” said a source in the civic body.

The controlling chokes have been installed at a cost of Rs. 3 lakh and the equipment has been guaranteed for five years. The lights can also be dimmed as per requirement. These controllers can be upgraded for remote control operation of the streetlights.

“There are areas where street lights are dim during peak hours. But they get brighter after 10.30 p.m. This happens due to voltage fluctuation. Between 6 p.m. and 10.30 p.m., the power consumption in offices and homes is heavy. Only after public consumption reduces do street lights get enough power supply,” said an official. Some areas where the voltage problem is especially bad include Nesapakkam, Chinmaya Nagar Stage II, Pulianthope and George Town.

S. Arumainathan, president of Virugambakkam Residents Welfare Association said, “We face low voltage even in our homes. If power supply is efficient, the street lights, too, will function well. Even though the Corporation has been replacing old lights, the fluctuation does not allow them to burn brightly. In some streets, lights are switched on every evening, but the areas remain shrouded in darkness.”

In the power audit, experts will study the number of street lights, the interval between two lights, the power consumed, how power can be saved and also check power transmission.


Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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