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Harvard Engineering local hero

19 June 2009 15.00 BST

(UK) - Harvard Engineering has won two prestigious local awards. The first was won at the Yorkshire Digital Awards for its revolutionary LeafNut wireless street lighting system, in the category of Best Application of Internet Technology. The second was for Company Innovation at the 42 Under 42 Yorkshire Business Awards, and was also for the LeafNut system.

Harvard Engineering has spent over six years developing the LeafNut system, which is already in operation in a number of towns, cities and trunk roads throughout the UK.

A clever state-of-the-art street lighting solution, LeafNut allows local and highway authorities the ability to accurately control and monitor all assigned lighting units by providing remote wireless, web based switching and dimming back to the operator through a webserver.

In a ground-breaking development LeafNut’s unique wireless management system interrogates and regulates individual street lanterns on a real time basis using the microprocessor in the electronic ballast to its full capability. This provides the ability to remotely manage lanterns either individually, in groups or as a whole throughout the infrastructure. It is a programmable two-way process, instructing the switching and dimming of lanterns and also gathering information regarding energy consumption and maintenance requirements.

Substantial savings in energy can be achieved by using the LeafNut system, typically up to £46 a year per street lighting column. The system will also provide a significant contribution towards Local Authorities targets for reduced greenhouse gas emission. The Climate Change Act in the UK has set legally-binding targets for an 80% reduction in these emissions by 2050. Carbon emissions can be cut by over 100 kilos per column per year by using the LeafNut and electronic ballast combination. This equates to a potential UK saving of 377,000 tonnes per year if all street lighting used a LeafNut control system.

In Huddersfield, where the LeafNut system has been deployed, Andrew Bullen, Group Engineer – Street Lighting, at Kirklees Council commented, “With the introduction of carbon reduction targets and the volatility within the energy markets, it has become more important than ever to reduce the amount of electricity used by street lighting. Some local authorities have made the decision to switch off street lights. In Kirklees we have looked to technology to help us achieve savings. The LeafNut system allows us to do this by reducing light levels at particular times, rather than switching lights off.”

Michael McDonnell commercial director at Harvard Engineering plc said, “We have worked hard over the course of the last 6 years to develop a revolutionary environmentally friendly, energy saving solution that can provide major benefits on a worldwide scale and we are delighted to have won these awards in recognition of our efforts.”


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