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 The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells
17.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

nachricht Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles
17.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>