How IoT is Transforming Aberdeen into a Smarter, More Sustainable City

With climate action becoming an increasingly important agenda for local councils, investments in innovative technologies are key to reducing environmental footprint. Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are key to creating smarter and more sustainable places. As the UK sets Net Zero Targets for 2050, there is an increasing urgency to take action.

The Lighting Up Aberdeen project, in partnership with North and Lucy Zodion, is helping the local authority create a greener future through the use of energy-efficient lighting across the city.

One example of how IoT is positively impacting sustainability is the deployment of an intelligent lighting system. With Aberdeen having outdated, inefficient, and costly street lighting infrastructure, the Council looked to move to a more sustainable and cost-efficient system. Partnering with North for the Central Management system, they embarked on a pioneering journey to improve their lighting infrastructure control. Central to the project was the city-wide LoRaWAN IoT network and a Central Management System (CMS). With over 37,000 units managed, each streetlight is connected to a node sending data to the CMS via Gateways to ensure streetlights can be remotely managed.

The intelligent lighting system introduced custom dimming profiles, allowing energy consumption to be adjusted based on contextual factors such as time of day and foot traffic. This helps optimise energy usage and create more streamlined maintenance operations, reducing costs and enhancing overall efficiency.

By harnessing the power of data and connectivity, Aberdeen has achieved savings in energy consumption and operational costs. Though exact figures vary due to the diverse wattages of lanterns, the following  results have been recorded as an average::

• Default photocell: 18.75% energy savings
• Industrial dim: 23.33% energy savings
• City Centre: 45.00% energy savings
• Zebra crossings beacons: 22.66% energy savings
• Heritage lanterns: 20.53% energy savings
• 80% dim: 38.96% energy savings

Collectively, these have resulted in significant reductions in energy usage and carbon emissions, helping Aberdeen move towards its sustainability goals and Net Zero vision. Furthermore, the Council has achieved significant cost savings as outlined in Aberdeen City Council's recent recognition at The MJ Awards where an annual saving of c. £5M was reported.

North’s intelligent technology solutions are supporting Aberdeen City Council's Net Zero Aberdeen Route Map, a city-wide approach to reducing carbon emissions and supporting their smart city ambitions. Alongside providing efficient and effective lighting and improved safety, IoT solutions can support sustainable urban development. By integrating smart technologies into cities, communities like Aberdeen are not only enhancing the quality of life for citizens but also safeguarding the planet for future generations.


09 July 2024