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The first "charging lantern" in the Netherlands sees light at Rinkom

The first “charging lantern” in the Netherlands sees light at Rinkom

The charging lamp is a smart light pole that not only provides light, but also can act as a charging station for electric vehicles. In addition, the light tower could be equipped with other “smart city” applications of the future, such as sensors to measure air quality or regulate traffic flows, mobile internet and camera security for public order and safety. The project is made possible by a collaboration between charging station supplier Dutch Charge, light tower producer Nedal, system integrator CityTec and investor Primevest.

The advantage of multifunctional street lighting is that it saves space in the streets. By making the lamp post multifunctional, the placement of charging posts is no longer necessary. This is a huge advantage for municipalities. As the demand for electric vehicles is increasing rapidly, the need for neighborhood charging points is also increasing.

600 columns per day

“In the Netherlands, there is an exponential growth in freight needs,” says Mark Speyer, Director of CityTec. His company designs, builds, manages and finances installations in public spaces such as light poles, traffic installations, parking systems and charging stations. More than 1.7 million charging points should be achieved by 2030. This means about 600 charging stations per day, while only 45 charging points are added per day.”

All these charging stations should be placed on the streets. “By making a lamppost that truly integrates seamlessly into existing multifunctional streetscapes, we provide a solution against the ‘clutter’ of public spaces,” says Speiger. In addition, it represents the next step in making public spaces more sustainable, as the municipality of Rinkum wants to lead the way.

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Smart City Rincom

The village on the Rhine is working hard to become a “ready smart city”. That is why the municipality has replaced nearly three thousand lampposts and six thousand units in recent years and supplied them with sustainable LED lighting. The light towers can be dimmed and read remotely. Combined with LED fixtures, this results in an expected energy saving of 60 percent. And now lampposts can also serve as a charging point for electric vehicles. Thanks to these innovations, Rincom will already meet climate goals in 2022, and not just in 2030.

Local Council member for Climate and Sustainability Joa Mausch van Rinkom is proud of the first village in his village. “We are pleased that as a municipality we have been able to contribute to this development that can help more places achieve their sustainability goals and prevent crowding of public spaces.”

Capital

For CityTec, Renkum’s charging lanterns are a project example of how energy transmission can form in public spaces. Although innovative street lighting still operates on alternating current, according to Spieger, the use of grids on direct voltage is essential for power transmission. “Power is generated from solar energy in direct current, LED lighting uses direct current, and electric vehicles are charged with direct current,” Speijer summarizes. “You also need direct current to store energy.” In addition, direct current requires a less heavy grid electricity, which can save 60 percent of the cost of copper alone. The current grid can also transmit three times the amount of electricity using direct current.

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