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Vodafone uses IoT to save energy across Europe

21 Apr 2023Technology news
2 minute read

As we celebrate Earth Day, an annual event promoting the protection of our environment, we are reminded to think about our impact on the planet.

Individually, we can be more conscious of the energy we use at home but what about the energy we use to light cities or to run large businesses and industries? This is where the saving potential is greatest.

Smart city lighting

Today, lighting systems are very generic and far from the real patterns and behaviours of citizens, which causes some areas of the city to be underlit and others overlit at different times of the night.

Pioneering an urban lighting management project called ‘Light as you Need’ (LayN), we’re working with Serveo to promote the efficient management of public lighting by optimising energy resources and analysing mobility patterns using Big Data technologies, Analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

LayN aims to provide light to users based on their needs, determined by large volumes of anonymised data from the Vodafone network, which analyses citizen mobility in a very granular way.

Based on these movements, the solution can optimise the configuration of both the existing lighting control mechanisms in the different parts of the city, as well as those of new lighting management systems where Serveo already provides services.

LayN has two key aspects. First, the IoT sensors implanted in streetlamps use 4G, 5G and edge computing to control the lighting and secondly, the data analytics provided by the Vodafone Analytics tool help the sensors to understand where and when lighting is needed.

The result is improved public lighting that allows energy savings of up to 30%, this is on top of the 60% LED light saving.

After successfully testing the solution in one of the cities operated by Serveo, we will be extending it to the rest of the municipalities committed to sustainability and energy efficiency.

Plug and play

According to a 2022 study by the Federal Statistical Office, only around a third of companies in Germany use smartly networked systems. One reason for the hesitation: the smart upgrading of existing machines and systems is expensive, complex and takes time.

This is exactly where our new IoT solution ‘Modbus Cloud Connect’ comes in. This solution uses plug and play to make even old machines smart, meaning there is no need for business customers to program expensive and time-consuming individual solutions or even replace machines.

After an initial onboarding, the device is connected to a central interface and all machine data can be sent to the cloud via narrowband IoT or LTE-M. The Modbus Cloud Connect then translates the data into a human-readable format and enables analysis for remote maintenance or energy management purposes.

Modbus RTU-powered machines

A one-size-fits-all solution for all Modbus RTU-powered machines and systems – a communication protocol widely used in industry, this solution is building the digital bridge to a sustainable and networked future for Germany.

  • 4G
  • 5G
  • Circular economy 
  • Connectivity
  • Digital enablement
  • Environment
  • Europe
  • IoT
  • Planet
  • SDG 11
  • SDG 7
  • SDGs
  • Smart cities
  • Sustainability
  • Technology
  • Vodafone Business

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