Energy as a service

Smart street lighting added by GE to 'energy as service' platform

An adaptive control system that uses radar and sensors built into LED streetlights to detect cars and pedestrians as they move along a street - creating a ‘light wave’ only where it’s needed - is one of five new partners confirmed by US company GE for its spin-off business unit Current.

Comlight, the company behind EagleEye, claims the collaboration can increase energy savings by up to 70 per cent by combining vehicle and foot traffic data from radar with information from lighting equipped with Current’s LED technology and using the results to adjust lighting levels in real time.

The partnership, which is exclusive to Europe, was announced as GE opened its ‘Minds + Machines’ conference in Paris this week and comes just two months after the company unveiled 15 other additions to its ‘intelligent environment ecosystem’.

Current, a start-up operating within GE that integrates the company’s LED, solar, CHP energy storage and electric vehicle sharing business with its Predix Cloud data-analysis platform, allows partners to embed their own sensors and software into GE technology, or pair them with data collected through Predix.

The idea is to use energy infrastructure to generate additional value through what GE describes as an ‘energy as a service’ model, at the same time as cutting energy costs.

Retail is another area where Connect is expected to make an impact and new partners announced this week include two that track consumer behaviour. Celect, from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, uses precise location data from LED lighting to help retailers understand how customers choose from products on display.

Another ‘in-store behaviour analytics platform’,VideoMining, combines data from a suite of sensing technologies with information from other sources such as transaction and customer loyalty schemes, while Motionloft tracks where people are within a building or urban area to identify which shop entrances are busiest or where advertising might be best placed to entice customers inside.

Adaptive street lighting like EagleEye was one of the smart city technologies covered in E&T magazine's recent special focus on this subject.

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