Can the iconic Amba Vilas Palace be enriched and beautified any further? Perhaps, by generating various combinations in the lighting to achieve a new dimension of visual appeal.
“It’s possible,” says a team of electrical engineers currently working on a proposal to introduce an automated system for the palace illumination. It aims to bring novelty to the illumination pattern since the visual appeal, though attractive, is static.
The palace, built in the Indo-Sarcenic style, comes alive when it is illuminated with about 1 lakh specially manufactured incandescent bulbs.
The bulbs, fixed in a synchronised pattern, are switched on in one go. To cut down on the power usage and cost of maintenance, as well as beautify and renovate the current system with modern technology, the Mysore Palace Board, which takes care of the structure, proposed using an automated system for the illumination and accordingly sought input from this team. A replica of the palace illumination circuit has been designed to show how the system will work.
The proposed system aims to recreate the palace illumination with about 172 different lighting patterns to make it even more spectacular to watch. Anantha Padmanabha from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, developed software to simulate palace illumination in about 172 patterns. The team of engineers working on the system has managed to operate two patterns on the replica.
The system was demonstrated before Minister in-charge of Mysore V. Srinivas Prasad at the palace here on Thursday.
Sheshagiri, CEO of Techbyte India Private Ltd., is coordinating the project with support from experts from the Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering — M.P. Nagaraj and R.S. Ananda Murthy — here. The automated system will, while providing a dimmer display, also guarantee a more captivating illumination (lighting in stages) while cutting down on power and maintenance costs. Mr. Nagaraj told The Hindu that the static illumination could be transformed into progressive illumination.
The dimmer system protects electrical apparatus by gradually increasing the load on the supply system in a smooth flow rather than instantaneous loading. The prototype for automation, with a single-line diagram of the illumination circuit, has been prepared, he said.
As the system gradually increases the supply voltage, it thereby reduces voltage on the bulb filament, increasing its life and the life of other apparatuses involved, according to Mr. Sheshagiri.
This would cut down electricity costs by 25 per cent, he added. On an average, 10,000 to 15,000 fused bulbs are replaced per annum.
“This can be overcome by over 60 to 70 per cent,” he said. The engineers said the proposed system could be implemented with little or no wiring.
The team is ready to utilise any temple on the palace premises for automation of the Gopuram illumination on a trial basis. “Gradual illumination under the dimmer system produces a pleasing effect on the eyes of spectators, unlike the present illumination system which transforms from complete darkness to complete brightness,” the engineers say.