Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low-energy LED lighting project is streets ahead

27.04.2007
Technology that first appeared in digital watches and calculators back in the 1970s is being used to develop durable and community-friendly low energy street lighting.

Researchers at The University of Manchester have joined forces with Dialight Lumidrives - founded by a successful former student - to develop powerful low-cost LED lighting modules that can be used in buildings and on roads.

Academics in The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will draw on their expertise to investigate how tightly packed groups of LEDs can be made to work safely and reliably.

Lighting solutions that use LEDs have the potential to reduce energy consumption by between 25 and 50 per cent, depending on the application.

But thermal and electrical issues at lighting levels of 12,000 lumens and above
- a typical 60w household light bulb produces about 800 lumens - are barriers to the wider adoption of LED technology.

Engineers will be working with York-based Dialight Lumidrives to tackle tough issues such as the amount of heat generated by LEDs packed closely together.

As the LED modules will be used outside, academics will need to consider environmental factors, such as the possibility of a bird nesting over a vital heatsink.

Another hurdle will be the regulations that govern things like glare and light pollution, and engineers say that directing LED light sources onto the required area will be a challenge.

The one-year project has been funded with a £175,000 grant from the Department of Trade and Industry-led Technology Programme. Dialight Lumidrives is contributing another £175,000 to the scheme.

A key aim of the project is to develop a solution that is very reliable but not prohibitively expensive.

Dr Roger Shuttleworth from the Power Conversion Group at The University of Manchester, said: "LED technology first came to prominence in instrument displays back in the 1970s, but we are increasingly seeing it used in things like traffic signals and car lights.

"Towards the end of the twentieth century, the old fashioned sodium street lights that made everything look orange were gradually replaced by high-pressure sodium lamps.

"While these are brighter and more aesthetically pleasing, and can help tackle street crime and anti-social behaviour, they are also less energy efficient.

"With the environment at the top of the public and political agenda, energy saving has become a very important issue. When you consider how many street lights there are in the UK alone, it's clear there are some big opportunities for energy and cost savings."

Gordon Routledge, MD of Dialight Lumidrives, who studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the old UMIST and graduated in 1996, said: "LEDs are on track to become a major source of lighting over the next decade.

"Although significant investment is on-going in the core development of the LEDs themselves, the surrounding technology development is being left to manufacturers who have little knowledge of electronics or LEDs.

"We are proud to be working with The University of Manchester to develop technology which will drive the adoption of this revolutionary lighting source in everyday applications."

While high-pressure sodium vapour street lighting - common across much of Europe - gives an efficiency of around 85 lumens per watt, LED technology is on track to exceed 150 lumens per watt - and this figure is rising as new semiconductor developments occur. The mercury used in the old-fashioned lights also has implications for the environment.

As well as cutting energy consumption and overall running costs, researchers say that LED street lighting could help reduce light pollution - and the glow that radiates from big cities could become a thing of the past. It's also proposed that LED street lighting could be controlled and dimmed when necessary.

With a longer lifespan, LED street lights would need to be replaced less often, potentially cutting down on traffic disruption and local council repair bills.

The lifetime of the proposed LED module is in excess of 50,000 hours or 10-years if used for road lighting - approximately four times longer than a conventional street light.

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lumidrives.com
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/eps
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Fraunhofer Researchers Develop High-Pressure Sensors for Extreme Temperature
28.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM

nachricht Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon
27.06.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>