Vigo City Council opened the new Lepanto tunnel to traffic in December. It is a 250-metre-long urban tunnel connecting the centre of the city with the Atlantic motorway (AP-9), which was built to reduce congestion in the built-up area of the city.
LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
The client had three objectives: to achieve a significant degree of energy efficiency in the installation, to avoid dazzling and to improve safety.
To achieve a safe, efficient and glare-free installation, a robust, durable and reliable solution had to be found which, at the same time, was compatible and included a smart, remote and autonomous lighting control system.
Carandini, as an expert in tunnel lighting with more than 60 years’ experience, was the company chosen by Vigo City Council to see this project through, together with the installation company Aycar, Proyectos e Instalaciones, S.L.
LIGHTING STUDIES AND PROPOSED SOLUTION
Appropriate lighting and the implementation of smart technologies are essential for ensuring safer and more efficient tunnels.
Problems such as the ‘black hole’, which (during the day) prevents drivers seeing inside the tunnel when they are at a certain distance from the entrance, pollution, high humidity, vibrations, climatic conditions and vehicle type are factors to be considered when deciding which solution is most suitable. Why not all products are suitable for this type of environment.
In the case of the Lepanto tunnel, Caradini’s lighting studies department carried out a project to determine how this new urban tunnel should be lit, considering all of the above factors, in addition to its location and length.
The chosen product was the T-MAX projector with a colour temperature of 4,000K.
In total, 83 T-MAX size ‘L’ and 15 ‘M’ units (boost lighting) were installed at the entrance of the tunnel to balance the exterior and interior light intensities, and 48 size ‘S’ units were installed inside the structure. All the lights incorporated optics specially designed to provide suitable levels of uniformity, avoid glare and provide a high degree of visual comfort.
The lighting calculations were made in compliance with Circular Order 36/2015, achieving results that were even better than those required by the regulations as regards the recommended levels of uniformity in terms of glare and lighting levels, both during the day and at night.
SMART CONTROL SYSTEM
As mentioned above, to achieve good lighting in a tunnel, not only is a good product needed, but also a control system that allows the lighting to be monitored and managed.
Controlux Tunnel, from Carandini, is designed to obtain data from everything that passes through a tunnel, in real time, to process those data and manage them for the purpose of providing suitable lighting at all times and under any circumstances. And all this, moreover, with a very high level of security, to ensure that the most critical data are transferred securely.
How does it work?
The Controlux Tunnel lighting software provides precise and efficient lighting control via the main PLC (programmable logic control), on which the whole manual, automatic and semi-automatic control algorithm for the tunnel is implemented.
It functions automatically and autonomously, regulating the lighting during the day according to sunrise and sunset, the measurement from the luminance meters positioned at each of the tunnel’s two entrances. The system also has an HMI (human machine interface) to control the lights remotely from the fibre-optic network, by means of a web browser.
The Controlux Tunnel system that was installed in Vigo has cable control (DALI protocol), allowing for a high degree of reliability and a high transmission speed when sending control signals. It also means that lane closures can be avoided by identifying faults and breakdowns remotely, and it allows for adaptive control of the lighting.
ADAPTIVE LIGHTING FOR DEMANDING ENVIRONMENTS
The lighting installed in a tunnel does not always require the same level of lighting. It is, therefore, essential to have regulation systems that make it possible to adapt the projectors to the possible lighting scenarios that can be encountered in a tunnel, determined by the different external light levels and weather variables.
Thanks to technologies such as Controlux Tunnel, we create smart infrastructure that improves the driving experience and achieves a saving of up to 70% on the installation’s energy consumption.
Photos provided by Aycar, Proyectos e Instalaciones, S.L.