Our cities are getting smarter and smarter. We can see thousands of smart devices in any modern metropolis. Smart devices ensure our safety, better connectivity, reduce congestions, in general, it improves our lifestyle. The smart devices is digital and uses very little electricity than an old security camera that requires 200W. But some cities are going greener because it costs less. Why Smart Cities are going green ?
Wiring each IoT device to the power grid is considered to be the most expensive specially when there are hundreds or thousands of them in a city.That is why, people keeps on wondering why their energy bills is going higher, while the new renewable energy should be reducing those costs.
Examples Smart Cities are going green
Cities like Toronto, San Diego and Highland park show greater connectivity which is changing the way we power our cities in North America.
This town has started to switch to solar-powered Smart City street lights. The reason behind was because one city in Ontario experienced an increase of 1,400% in the streetlights from 2005 to 2019. In Toronto, on Bloor Street West, the Business Initiative Association fixed a solar-powered Smart City poles with LED lighting, IoT devices and Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities.
All of these poles are 100% solar powered which do not have the need to be connected to the grid. Due to these poles, approximately $1.4 million CAD are saved in cable trenching and one-time grid connection costs.
Quayside which is a planned neighbourhood of Toronto would integrate smart technology in all of its infrastructures. These smart technology would include sensors to measure traffic usage, air quality, noise etc. Energy efficiency technologies would notably decrease the burden placed on the grid. And off-grid solutions can help a lot.
Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs will also be able to establish solar and wind power into the design. Sidewalk labs has a goal of reducing neighbourhood emissions by 75 – 80% using solar power generation, energy monitoring systems among others.
San Diego, California
California is a pioneer in adopting electric vehicles. However, we are plugging in our cars, rather than filling them with gas, that creates a problem for power supply.
At the San Diego Zoo, San Diego’s ‘Solar-to-EV’ project uses a solar power to charge plug-in electric vehicles directly (excess energy stored into the city’s grid). This project has been able to store enough energy to power 59 homes.
The city has also fixed 3,000 LED street lights with adaptive controls. Also, deployed 3,200 smart sensors to track air quality.
Highland Park, Michigan
Last but not the least, Highland park replaced its streetlights with solar powered lights, off-grids among others. The solar-powered lights lit with LED lamp saving 40-50% of energy. These lights is lighting up the entire Highland Park community even in cloudy days.
To conclude, when we talk about smart cities we talk about innovations. And innovations is the way we now build our power infrastructures. There will be soon the development of lithium-ion batteries in the power industry, paving the way for the smart city revolution.