15 February 2013

Variable Light Saves Energy On Europe's Second Longest Bridge

Öland is an island off the south eastern cost of Sweden. Now the bridge between Öland and the mainland will get a new lighting system that can be centrally adapted to weather conditions and traffic intensity. As the head office is situated on Öland we can follow the development closely.

Longest bridge in Europe
The Öland bridge was built in 1972, and up to 1998, when the Portuguese Vasco da Gama bridge was inaugurated, it was the longest bridge in Europe. It is also a very beautiful bridge, and after many years of travelling to and from Öland I still enjoy crossing it.
The Öland Bridge in Sunset
Pilot project
The Swedish Transport Administration is currently installing its first adaptive control system for lighting right here on the Öland Bridge. 412 of its fixtures with 100-watt high pressure sodium lamps will be replaced by LED lighting, which is expected to save two-thirds of the energy consumption.

Second test ok
LED technology was tested on the bridge already in 2009, but the technology was not developed well enough at that time. In March 2012 The Transport Administration made another test, and this time the result was significantly better  good enough to go ahead.

Connected to speed signs
The new LED lights will be connected to the adjustable speed signs. When there is heavy traffic on the bridge the speed limit will be reduced and the lamps will get stronger. The lights can also be controlled manually, for example if there is an accident or the weather is bad.

Environment care
The new lamps will save both energy and money, but they are not the only environment friendly thing on the Öland Bridge. For example the left-bank viaducts of the Öland bridge are extended inland to preserve the marshes underneath and the lamp posts throughout the bridge are tilted inwards so as not to cast light on the water below.

The new lighting method of the Öland Bridge
 has never been tried in Sweden before, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Transport Administrations of other parts of Europe are also following the project, so once again our fantastic island gets the attention it deserves.