Now, ‘smart poles’ to light up Dubai beaches at night

High-intensity lights operated with solar and wind energy aimed at facilitating night swimming

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai’s sun-drenched beaches are set to shine bright at night too with the installation of ‘smart poles’ providing high-intensity lighting on the shores.

The first two smart poles have been installed on the Umm Suqeim Beach 1, almost a kilometre away from Burj Al Arab.

Clint Egbert/Gulf News

The first two smart poles that generate electricity using solar and wind energy have been installed on the Umm Suqeim Beach 1, almost a kilometre away from Burj Al Arab.

The smart poles have been installed by D Idea Media, the company responsible for other smart installations — two smart palms and two smart changing rooms — on the same beach, in cooperation with Dubai Municipality.

The pilot project is aimed at illuminating the beach areas after sunset so that authorities can consider allowing night swimming, Viktor Nelepa, the founder and CEO of the company, told Gulf News.

Currently, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police, the two entities in charge of beach safety, do not allow night swimming on Dubai beaches. With the smart poles providing lighting on the beach, Nelepa said authorities are expected to consider allowing swimming in the lit-up area.

“This is to provide safe environment for night-time swimming and help people in Dubai enjoy the sea during the night time.”

Once the pilot project is found successful, he said, the municipality is expected to allocate beach areas close to the smart poles and lifeguards to facilitate night swimming. Gulf News could not immediately get comments from Dubai Municipality.

The 12-metre-high smart poles are installed some 25 metres away from the sea. “They illuminate the areas on the beach and the sea. The light can go as far as 30 metres in the water,” said Nelepa.

Each pole has the capacity to generate about 1.5kW electricity per day. The poles work on a combination of wind and solar energy and are fitted with sensors that can automatically turn on the lights when the sun sets.

“The sensors can measure the quantity of light, wind speed and movement of people as well. The lights will be on early during winter days as it gets dark by 5.30pm. The spinning speed of the turbines can be adjusted based on the wind speed. If there is no wind, then the solar energy will charge up the batteries.”

It requires only 3.5 metre per second wind speed for the turbine to start spinning and produce electricity. “The controller on the pole shuts off the turbine if there is a storm since too much of spinning will heat up the controller.”

The poles also carry digital screens to show weather warnings for swimming. “The digital screens will show the colours of the flags raised like red for no swimming and yellow for swim with caution. Swimmers will also be able to see text of warnings about swimming rolling on the screen.”

Nelepa said the smart lighting solution was invented, designed and manufactured in the UAE, allowing people to have a chance to experience the first Smart Beach emerging in Dubai.

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