Gmessys: Automating Street Light Operations to Enhance Energy Efficiency

Balaji Renukumar, Founder and MD
With one of the highest loss rates during power transmission and distribution, India is witnessing a high demand for smart grid solutions, luring players across the country and globe. The country has received massive investments and has initiated several pilot projects for development of smart grids across smart cities. However, a prominent area in the power sector with the potential for enormous savings that has largely gone unnoticed even with the advent of smart grid is street lighting. Accounting for any where between 10% to 38% of the total energy bill in cities globally, street lights are many a times the single largest expenditure for urban bodies.

" Gmessys has delivered a gross national savings of Rs.145.19 lakhs till date, with its revolutionary product Switchomat"

Gmessys Smart Systems Pvt Ltd, a renowned player in the smart grid segment has come to the rescue of urban and local bodies in India to address this challenge. Catering to over 100 customers that includes various Tier-2 cities, towns and villages, managing over 40,000 streetlights in over 16 districts of Karnataka, Gmessys has delivered a gross national savings of Rs 145.19 lakhs till date, with its revolutionary product Switchomat. A completely automated streetlight controller that adds microcontroller-based intelligence to the high-ampere electrical switch, Switchomat is the brainchild of the company’s Founder and Managing Director, Balaji Renukumar, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur (B.Tech/2003), who identified the immense scope for energy efficiency in this untapped market. It was recognised
by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, which has SEED granted the company Rs.25 lakhs for being one of the very few players in the smart grid segment with an agenda and ability to manage the entire set up of smart and efficient streetlight switching.

Developed with the company’s combined research and collaboration with German Federal Agency for Energy Efficiency, Switchomat is a highly scalable and customizable solution that can function 24x7x365 days a year. Being completely automated, the solution obviates the need for time and resource consuming process in which field employees would commute twice a day to manually switch on/off the streetlights in Indian villages and towns. With the ability to integrate with already installed meters as well as smart grids, this robust product functions seamlessly in extreme conditions; in scenarios of fluctuating voltage, poor power quality, and with different types of lamp fittings. Dramatic cost savings, reduction in carbon footprint and control over power theft are a few of the resulting benefits.

What strongly differentiates Switchomat is the fact that this state-of-the-art solution has been developed to meet the arduous demands of the Indian landscape and it has offered a new business model for the Urban & Local bodies to outsource the Switching ON/OFF streetlights. Following the successful implementation in Karnataka, the company is in the process of replicating the same in other parts of the country.

In addition to bridging a critical gap in the power sector of India, Balaji has also focussed on asset management, revolutionizing yet another nascent market in India by automating the process of maintenance and repair of public assets. Realised through Gmessys’ daughter company sensfix, the solution is an IoT powered, AI-driven platform which can be leveraged by assets to self-analyze and predict the requirement for repair with an accuracy of 99%. This is enabled through the data generated from sensors fixed to these systems. Through such innovations, Gmessys is paving the way for enhanced energy efficiency and smart living.