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Yeah,The added all that automated stuff when I was in St. Louis. Then the Power company decided to shut off my power (despite the power bill being paid a couple of months in advance). Then they started charging an estimated billing because I wasn't using enough power (after they had disconnected my power).The Gas company also started charging estimated billing because I wasn't using enough gas. Then, they sent a technician out to check the meter, check the seals, and run a sniffer around the pipes to verify that they hadn't been messed with. Then, they didn't believe their own technician's reading, and refused to credit the amount overpaid, and continued to charge an estimated reading since the usage was low.I believe that at least the gas company is setup so they don't have to do drivebys, but rather use wireless hubs controlled through the central office, so they get readings several times a day (which they refuse to trust).
Are you sure you don't work in Military Procurement?
Street light control was done using cycle modulation and rythmatic relays woking at a few cycles per second around 50 years ago. About 28 years ago I invented and patented a spread spectrum communications system for electricity gas and water utilities
To (try to) cut long story short:Let's say that right now I need off-the-shelf solution for testing and marketing purpose, and I think I've managed to find solution that we could try (there's a lot space for improvement in this phase, but it's not necessary).As I said, that solution is going to be for marketing purposes only (to animate politician to install some level of energy saving street light system). On the other side, when the politicians take the bait and we get green light for this project, we will implement the solution that we find optimal.As far as my planning goes, I think that we will take few development platforms for power line communication and develop system that will fit our needs when we are done with marketing (if our marketing is successful).System implemented now is done with mercury bulbs and without any smart control. By some Kyoto agreement, mercury bulbs are to be replaced with something eco-friendly by 2013. So, our goal is to implement power saving system (we're not responsible for bulbs, but just for their control). New bulbs will have two modes: power saving and full power. Solution (that will be implemented) needed is one that could control any particular bulb at any time and (optional) have some feedback (is bulb turned on or off).Every block has its own transformer (nothing else but the street lights is connected to that transformer). One power cable (one wire for each phase (R,S,T) and one for neutral (N) = 4 wires) goes from transformer to the end of the block and all lamps are connected to that power line (first bulb connected to R, second to S, third to T, fourth to R...) everything is weatherproof and dry. Control device should be able to communicate with main control via RS232 and to transmit commands to modules that control particular bulbs and to collect and dispatch data considering status of each bulb to main control. Size of any block isn't over 1000 meters, and there's 40 lamps max per block. So there's max of 80 outputs to control per block.Project leaders are eager to experiment and find optimal solution (price per lamp should not be over 120 USD). IT support is probably the strongest link in our team, so there should be no problems as far as software is considered.
What?! You mean you're actually looking for a practical solution? We're scientists!  (er, well, some of us anyway)