Reliable, Smart, Safe, and Wireless Outdoor lighting plus Surveillance System

All of us want to feel safe & secure while walking on the streets. Inadequate lighting of streets increases crime rates and can threaten the personal security of every individual. Many cases of robberies are reported every day which involved violent behavior at times & quite a few have also proved to be fatal. While technology has invaded our personal lives, the world of outdoor lighting continues to live on age- old infrastructure with overhanging cable lines or dug up roads requiring expensive underground cabling. We see separate poles with lights and cameras for surveillance across cities these days. There is always a mesh of cables for power and communication which are hanging on these poles. The wires not only spoil the aesthetics of a city but are expensive to install and unreliable. We will present the case for a wireless outdoor lighting and surveillance system, which has the potential to upgrade infrastructure globally.
Standalone solar streetlights provide an environmentally friendly solution and a desirable upgrade to the outdoor lighting infrastructure. It eliminates expensive cabling (figure 1) and removes the dependence on grid which not only reduces the high electricity bills but helps avoid blackout conditions in the event of a power outage. Solar streetlights have been around for years but have been plagued with age-old lead-acid battery technology, unreliable performance during cloudy days, poor designs and high maintenance cost.

Figure1: Expensive cabling and age-old infrastructure for grid-connected streetlights

The external lead-acid batteries are prone to theft, require long cables and the electronics are inefficient leading to losses and poor charging on cloudy days when the solar output is low. Also, these batteries are not suitable for outdoor conditions as high temperatures dry up the liquid and the batteries are also prone to theft. Recently, a spate of companies have been promoting the inbuilt panel (All in One) based solar streetlight with lithium-ion batteries. These have a fundamental design issue as the solar panel has to be south facing and the light has to face the street. Given that it’s a single unit, this is not possible and users have experienced backup issues related to the fundamental design flaw. The difficulties in maintenance and poor quality batteries have added to the poor performance of the all in one systems.
Solar streetlights with inbuilt lithium-ion batteries and a separate solar panel is the ideal design to enable reliable field performance. A properly designed lithium-ion battery with high-quality cells, and battery management systems (BMS) matching to the charge controller and with proper thermal management is required to provide long term performance. Intelizon’s Zonstreet platform is one example of such a design with a proven track record of over 6 years in the field and over 40000 deployments. The self-autonomy feature provides an extra edge as one gets long backup even with extended cloudy days. Conventionally solar streetlights utilize timer-based dimming and oversized batteries to provide backup on cloudy days when the solar panel output is reduced. Zonstreet uses a 97% efficient smart controller with battery capacity based dimming. The light intensity is reduced when the battery is partially charged ensuring long backup hours without having to increase the battery capacity. This ensures reliable performance even if a location experiences extended days of cloudy conditions which may last even a month.
IP Cameras for surveillance has become the latest trend. However, we often see shabby cables on dedicated poles coming up in cities which not only spoils the aesthetics but is also an unreliable solution as cable cuts are common. Also, the IR LED’s provide unclear black and white night vision which defeats the purpose of surveillance and safety.
Intelizon’s lastest platform Zonstreet CCTV is an ideal solution. Integrating an IP65 camera with our lights has set the benchmark for innovation where security and lighting have been combined. Using a very low power consumption (1.2Watt) camera modules which are powered by solar panel during the day and lithium-ion batteries at night the cameras operate reliably throughout the day. Figure 2 describes the system design. It has an inbuilt lithium-ion battery and an inbuilt 3MP camera providing 24×7 color vision for high safety & security combined with smart electronics and the self-autonomy feature. The camera comes with an inbuilt memory card where one can store videos up to 30days. The separate IP65 Hotspot box mounted on the pole includes a lithium-ion battery, charge controller, clamp, cable wire with connectors where a hotspot device with best local 4G signals can be inserted for remote connectivity. The system provides remote live video and playback on smartphones as well as on desktop via application software which comes with the system. The playback feature on the application software provides users the ability to monitor the location from the comfort of their mobile phone sitting anywhere in the world.

Figure2: Zonstreet CCTV system design( Inbuilt camera, sensor, battery with solar panel & hotspot)

The solar LED street light plus surveillance system with an integrated CCTV, lithium-ion battery, advanced electronics, WIFI/4G and LED technology provides many benefits. Some of the benefits are: 1. Savings on power cables 2. Savings on communication cables 3. Savings on additional poles 4. Provides superior security as night images are colored and visually clearer and 5. Prevents theft as there is no way to know there is a camera and the possibility of bypassing it or cutting cables does not exist. The integrated CCTV system is receiving acceptance in various applications.
The Rajasthan Railways recently installed the Zonstreet CCTV 30W LED Solar street light for surveillance and safety at their crossings. Currently, the crossings are manned and do not have a remote monitoring facility. We have installed there 66lights in complete Rajasthan state at 33 crossings (2 lights per crossing). We started this project in April, 2019 and in September, 2019 installation completed and now all lights performing well there without any complaints. Our systems not only provide wireless lighting but also remote surveillance. This allows the authorities to provide safety for citizens in remote locations and based on surveillance data provide better security. The completely wireless lighting and surveillance feature is unique as it requires no maintenance & simplifies installation. The BIS, UL & NABL certified ZONSTREET CCTV 30W (Figure 3) provides state of the art highest light output per watt (>160lumen/W) LEDs (LM80 certified) and have a terrific aesthetic appeal with the use of reflectors and lenses. The battery uses NMC cells widely used in mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles with our proprietary battery management system (BMS) which ensures long (>2000) cycle life. The separate solar panel allows proper mounting at an angle depending on the latitude of the location where light is to be installed. Proper panel mounting angle ensures good charging during cloudy/winter seasons while preventing dust accumulation. This required a lot of design optimization and has resulted in a unique solution with global appeal.

Figure3: Zonstreet CCTV at Railway crossing, Jaipur(L) & Inbuilt Camera Vision( R)

Imagine a world where there is no dependence on cables and on-grid power while providing security anytime anywhere. Intelizon’s game-changing solution ZONSTREET CCTV has created such a possibility and has impacted over 2.6 million+ lives, saved over 24milion+ units of electricity and 17000+ metric tons of CO2 emission reductions. Can there be a better solution for smart cities globally?
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