Plymouth City Lighting- Radio Frequency Systems

Freedom Fields- an installation using equipment by the photocell manufacturer Royce Thompson. The system encompasses the main road controlled by Radio frequency NEMA cells, and a park controlled by miniature nodes in heritage lanterns. Although the lanterns are individually celled, they are actually dependant on a radio signal, and do not take notice of the local lighting conditions.

All the columns on the main road had their existing NEMA cells replaced with the RF NEMA cell, and additionally, the lanterns adjacent to the park were replaced with Urbis ZX2 flat glass lanterns.

The park itself was completely revamped, and the new lighting scheme utilised reproduction cast columns, and small Urbis Albany lanterns. These were fitted with RF nodes from new.

Plympton Woodford- the major Radio Frequency installation in the city is the Mayflower Intelligent Management System, supplied by local lighting engineers/consultants Eclipse Partnership. This system uses nodes, which are sent signals from a control point. Here there is a laptop, complete with telephone link. This provides the system with the lighting up times, which are calculated for the time of year and conditions. The system also works the other way, as information is beamed back to the central computer from each of the nodes. This information includes lamp burning hours, outages and poor power factor correction readings. The control point is fitted with an aerial, which sends the signal to the nodes on each column.

The column Control Point has now been removed. The picture below shows the control cabinet is still in place, but the aerial has been removed from the column. Signals are now sent straight from a central computer point in the city. This allows the system to be expanded across the city.

The nodes are direct replacements for the NEMA photocells. There were a few old lanterns around, which were group switched. These were replaced with new lanterns fitted with NEMA sockets.

In some places, booster aerials are fitted where signals to the main computer station may be affected by hills.


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