IESL NSW Chapter is moving ahead with developing an economical and sustainable solution for controlling Street Lights in rural Sri Lanka. The Chapter is collaborating with the National Engineering Research and Development Centre ( NERDC) in Sri Lanka and the proposed solution will consider a few different options including remote activation of street light controllers using radio signals.  NERD Centre has conducted  discussions with Ceylon Electricity Board, LECO and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation regarding the concepts and all parties involved are in favour of developing a solution.

The objective of the project is to develop a safe, reliable, cost effective and economically manageable street light control system for the electricity distribution system in Sri Lanka.

There are well established industrial solutions  available in the market for this purpose. However due to a number of constraints in the electricity distribution network in Sri Lanka,  implementing such solutions is considered “impossible”. Therefore the research team is working on developing a dedicated design to address the currently undesirable situation of operating street lights in Sri Lanka.

The project was launched in February 2017 and so far progress has been made in identifying the limitations and obstacles in implementing one of the commonly available techniques, which is feeding High Voltage Ripple Control Signals to the grid. Due to the technical challenges in implementing this solution the research team has decided to direct attention to a form of radio signal to transmit the control signal. Currently the feasibility study is underway and some experiments have been conducted. Further work is being conducted currently by two teams working in parallel in Australia and Sri Lanka and a solution is expected to be reached within the next 6 months.

Once the technical solution has been identified, there will be a period of intense testing and evaluation to industrialise the solution.

The team working in Australia on this project comprises of Eng. Dayantha Jayarathna, Eng. Shantha Fernando, Eng. Bandula Subasinghe and Eng. Dr. Buddhi Wijerathna. In Sri Lanka the research team is headed by Head/ Dept. of Electrical  & Electronics  Engineering,  Eng. Nayana Wijesiriwardene and Senior Research Engineer Upeka  Botheju with the guidance of Eng Shavindranath Fernando, Chairman of NERDC.

In last December Eng. Dayantha Jayarathna visited the NERD Centre and conducted a workshop reviewing the status of the project and establishing milestones.  Engineers are planing to complete the prototype for evaluation in March 2018 and then a field trial will be launched.

 

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