Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

The Project

Merthyr Tydfil CBC has embarked on a major project to achieve both a substantial reduction in energy consumption while at the same time lowering their street lighting maintenance costs.
Merthyr Tydfil has an asset of 7,338 lighting points, most of which were High Pressure Sodium and all approaching the end of their life.  With continued rising energy costs in access of £400,000 in 2013, along with the cost of maintaining an aging asset the Authority examined various ways of saving energy along with reduction of their public lighting costs. 

The County Borough were fully aware of the risks involved in controlled switching off of the lighting and therefore considered that correct management of the lighting with the upgrading of the asset was the best option.   
It was therefore decided that a programmed replacement scheme of the old Luminaires with new LED fittings was the answer and to maximise the savings for the Borough a Central Management System would also be incorporated.

The Challenges (Planning)

Major capital investment would be required to carry out the project and Mr Christopher Ridout, the County Borough Lighting Engineer, carried out a series of feasibility studies and then applied for and successfully obtained energy efficient funding from SALIX to carry out the project.  The total capital investment cost provided by SALIX to carry out the works was calculated at £2.2 Million.
The program commenced in April 2014 with an completion date of end of March 2016 with a timetable of changing 3500 units per annum over a 2 year period.  This planned schedule of works will result in a payback period for the project of just over 7 years with the cost of the loan paid back from the savings made to the annual street lighting energy bill.

Merthyr Tydfil CBC carried out a number of trials with different lantern manufacturers and finally decided upon the Urbis Axia 21 watt LED lantern for all the Group B columns and the Urbis Ampera 51 watt LED lantern for the Group A columns.
A number of Central Management System manufacturers were approached regarding the performance, technical detail and service requirements of their individual systems.  The County Borough’s view was to separate the CMS provision of the project into two areas and between two suppliers, however the Charles Endirect solution provided much the best value for money with appreciably better on site support and more competitive service and ongoing costs.  Merthyr decided to adopt the CELtek system alone. 
With the lantern manufacturer and the CMS providers finalised, a timetable was set to roll out the project.  Merthyr Tydfil CBC decided that an timescale of just over two years could be achieved to provide the necessary enhanced savings.

Initial surveys were carried out in detail due to the geographical nature and hilly terrain of the County Borough.  Arrangement, positioning and location of the Gateway250 had to be carefully plotted for best transmission.  As a result, although a number would go in existing feeder pillars, it was decided that the majority of Gateways would be supplied in column mounted boxes, which will result in additional flexibility for obtaining the best communication to and from the Central Server as well as the signal from the network.  Each Gateway250 is connected to a GSM/Zigbee antenna and can control up to 800 Light Control units (LCU) providing they are in line of sight.
Taking into account the geography and terrain of the Borough it has been calculated that upon completion of the project, the entire street lighting asset will successfully operate using between 11 and 14 Gateway250 units.   Once the Gateway has been registered onto the system, installed on site and powered up it will operate, receive and transmit data and communicate with the network and central server immediately.  Likewise once the lantern mounted LCU is fitted and powered up it will instantly log on and communicate with Gateway250.
One of the advantages of the CELtek system is that the operating system is web based and therefore no additional software is required to be loaded onto the User’s computer system.


The Installation

Charles Endirect have been tasked with supplying approximately 7,000 lantern mounted LCUs into Merthyr Tydfil with these fitted into their new LED luminaries.  As of March 2015, 3000 units have already been successfully installed.  
Once the Gateway250 has been installed and commissioned in the best location, the lantern replacements are carried out in that area.  The LCU’s are fitted and wired into the new Urbis Axia and Urbis Ampera lanterns in the depot’s electrical workshop and then installed on site.  As each street and area is being populated the CEL support team provide ongoing assistance to the County Borough’s installation teams during the entire process.
Continued support is provided to Merthyr Tydfil in entering all the operational data onto the CELtek software, this process ensures that the Gateway250 is communicating with the LCU’s and the correct data is being transmitted and received.

Before, during and after the installation and commissioning of the CELtek system, the staff at Merthyr Tydfil CBC are receiving comprehensive training and guidance throughout the entire project.  However, it does not stop there as technical support and system welfare is continuous throughout the service agreement process with Merthyr Tydfil CBC.

The completed project will result in a vastly improved street lighting asset for Merthyr Tydfil CBC as the monitoring function of the system will highlight any maintenance issues allowing them to be resolved quickly and efficiently.  The continued use of the system will enable them to monitor and control the street lighting thus providing an effective maintenance regime which in turn will result in substantial energy savings throughout the County Borough. 

For more info please contact our CELtek CMS Support:

Don Mumford  - 07966 518492       Helen Bennett - 01963 828412