Quebec-based NYX Hemera Technologies signs an agreement to carry out a groundbreaking study on Colombian tunnel tunnel lighting in partnership with the Colombian Tunnelling Association (ACTOS) and the Colombian Society of Engineering (SCI).
The study will identify how tunnel lighting can be optimized through the use of photometric expertise, the use of the latest LED lighting technologies, and advanced intelligent lighting control for tunnels. It will focus on 30 existing tunnels of more than 240m in length, in addition to the more than 150 tunnels that are scheduled to be built to the international Reglamento Técnico de Iluminación y Alumbrado Público (RETILAP) standard. Like the standard RETILAP, the study will cover the efficient use of energy.
The main objective of the study is to present to authorities and main stakeholders of the tunnel industry, the potential benefits for driver safety, energy savings, and environmental protection that the responsible adoption of better lighting and intelligent control practices can offer.
NYX Chief Executive Pierre Longtin said: “Initial estimates allow us to suggest that the adoption of an intelligent lighting system for Colombian tunnels can provide an energy saving of more than 29 GWH per year. This will generate electricity to serve thousands of Colombians, save many hundreds of thousand dollars during the infrastructure’s lifetime, and avoid the emission of 5,000 tonne of CO2 per year thanks to new technologies.”
The study involves a transfer of knowledge by Canada-based tunnel lighting specialist NYX, based on its worldwide experience. The collaboration will also enable the development of a tunnel lighting course that will form part of a diploma offered by ACTOS.
Colombia is currently rolling out billions of dollars worth of road construction and improvement projects, many of them serving remote mountain areas and requiring excavation of dozens of short tunnels, as well as some – including the Toyo Tunnel – of up to 10km in length.
One package – the US$7.3 billion Prosperity Highway (formerly known as the Colombian Mountain Highway) – centres around the mountain city of Medellin, and is split into five construction contracts that involve the excavation of 85 tunnels totalling 55.4km in length.
NYX specialises in intelligent light control systems, especially for transitions between different lighting levels experienced at tunnel entrances and exits – of which there will be many constructed in the Colombian mountains in the coming months and years.